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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: SS Stewart Special Thoroughbred

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addynthebanjodays - Posted - 04/30/2021:  14:22:38

Came across a late 1890’s SS Stewart - Special Thoroughbred in fairly decent condition. Serial 19307- according to my understanding this would place it right around the time of Stewart’s death in 1898. It appears as though most of the parts are original, (fretboard, tuners, most of the hooks). And the parts that I had to replace, (skin, tailpiece,bridge) I tried my best to keep it true to its original form. Bridge from Joel Hooks and common sense replica tailpiece from Mark Ralston on banjohangout. Also- this banjo is a 12” pot. Check er out! She plays great. And let me know if you have any information about this banjo I’d love to know more.

Edited by - addynthebanjodays on 04/30/2021 14:24:41


rcc56 - Posted - 04/30/2021:  14:57:10

Nice banjo. I can't say much more than you have already found out, except that the Special Thoroughbred was one of Stewart's better models, and 12" examples are not very common.

I'll pass on trying to date Stewarts by their serial numbers-- we don't have much info available on that, and there is some disagreement between the few references that we do have.

I did notice one thing about your banjo-- the location and configuration of the position markers is unusual for a late '90's Stewart. It is possible that some of the markers may have been moved or added later.

addynthebanjodays - Posted - 04/30/2021:  15:10:40

Yes! Great info, thanks. It looks like there used to be a inlay on the 10th fret, but got removed at some point down the road.

rcc56 - Posted - 04/30/2021:  15:52:11

I also suspect that your 12th fret inlays were added later.

Most of these #2 Stewart banjos had inlays at the 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, and 17th frets.

When I replaced a rotten fingerboard on one of these banjos, I placed the inlays in our modern configuration, for the sake of the owner.

That lack of a 12th fret inlay and the presence of one on the 14th fret can give a lot of us grey hair.

Edited by - rcc56 on 04/30/2021 15:53:33

addynthebanjodays - Posted - 04/30/2021:  16:17:23

You're right. I'm noticing now that my 12th fret markers are of a different width than the 7th and 14th. It looks like the exact same pearl inlay as the other markers. Perhaps someone down the line popped out the marker at the 10th (there's a tiny scuff where the inlay used to be) and put it on the 12th.

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