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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Old Washburn E 329

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Cindy1920 - Posted - 05/10/2021:  18:23:52

Hello folks. I am looking for info on a Washburn E 329 banjo. I don't see E models anywhere, only B and C models. How old is it? Where was it made? Is it worth anything? I'm purging... facing my addiction to buying instruments. Thanks so much.

rcc56 - Posted - 05/10/2021:  19:27:09

Without a picture, all I can offer is:

Some Washburn banjos from the early 20th century were reasonably decent instruments. These were [at least mostly] open back banjos. The occasional "presentation grade" models with very ornate inlays in the neck might bring over $2000. The more common models are not particularly valuable.

The original Washburn company was out of business by the beginning of WWII. Modern instruments with the Washburn name start appearing sometime in the 1970's.  They are very easy to distinguish from pre-war instruments.

Most postwar Washburn instruments are imports of low to mediocre grade. Most, if not all postwar banjos would fall into this class. Washburn did occasionally build some better grade instruments in the modern era, but I do not believe that any of them were banjos.

Unless you can furnish some pictures, I will assume your banjo to be a modern era instrument, worth maybe just a few hundred dollars at best.

Edited by - rcc56 on 05/10/2021 19:32:50

Bill Rogers - Posted - 05/11/2021:  00:10:42

Washburn was a Lyon & Healy brand name. There was no “Washburn company.” The Washburn branded banjos were generally a better grade than those labeled Lyon & Healy. But Bob’s right--we need pictures to give you accurate information.  Detail of the peghead and the inside of the pot (round part) are especially important   The. modern "Washburn" branded banjos are Asian and of no particular distinction..

rcc56 - Posted - 05/11/2021:  08:18:45

I didn't want to trouble our new member with too many of the various uses of the Washburn name.

But yes, Washburn started out as a name for instruments made by Lyon & Healy, and later the name was sold a couple of times and manufacturing was done by other builders.

The better quality Washburn banjos were built in the Lyon & Healy plant in Chicago before 1930 or so.  They had pretty much stopped building those banjos by the early 1920's.

Edited by - rcc56 on 05/11/2021 08:30:51

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