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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Interesting old banjo on eBay, what is it?


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/382744

The Old Timer - Posted - 04/20/2022:  07:51:56


"CROWN" on plaque on dowel stick.  Kind of nice looking and a bit different.  Beautiful calfskin head, with  brand I haven't seen before.



ebay.com/itm/255496484452?mkev...l%3Dmkcid


Edited by - The Old Timer on 04/20/2022 07:53:31

Andy FitzGibbon - Posted - 04/20/2022:  08:11:06


Buckbee, or possibly early Rettberg & Lange. I have seen that "RCK" stamp on other R&L instruments. Not sure what it stands for... a retailer, I suppose.

GrahamHawker - Posted - 04/20/2022:  08:30:14


Based on my experience of how people identify banjos on Ebay it has to be a National Rawhide MFG. Co. banjo!

Banner Blue - Posted - 04/20/2022:  09:40:58


The listing clearly states that it is a VEGA with a tone ring.

Culloden - Posted - 04/20/2022:  11:14:36


No, the listing does not say anything about Vega, but it does say that the banjo has a tone ring. The seller is pretty reputable. I have dealt with him on several occasions and have never been disappointed.

Banner Blue - Posted - 04/20/2022:  12:16:59


Under item details brand is listed as Vega.

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 04/20/2022:  12:21:00


The only issue I see is that tone ring statement--but 've seen a few listings where the seller thinks the clad rim means tone ring. Otherwise, this seller seems legit, clearly stating there's a slight neck twist and pointing out other wear that doesn't show in pictures.

banjonz - Posted - 04/20/2022:  14:15:42


quote:

Originally posted by Culloden

No, the listing does not say anything about Vega, but it does say that the banjo has a tone ring. The seller is pretty reputable. I have dealt with him on several occasions and have never been disappointed.






It does state Vega under 'Item Specifics'.

beegee - Posted - 04/20/2022:  15:46:45


It is clearly not a Vega, no matter what the listing states. There is nothing Vega-esque about it. There were a couple of Crown brand banjos made in the early part of the 20th century. If the banjo appeals to you, it's only $399.

mikehalloran - Posted - 04/20/2022:  17:16:51


quote:

Originally posted by Banner Blue

Under item details brand is listed as Vega.






No. That's a search term—seller probably paid an added $2.50 for that. This is done so it shows up when someone searches for Vega. It neither implies nor claims that the banjo has anything to do with Vega — which is good because it isn't.


Edited by - mikehalloran on 04/20/2022 17:17:49

The Old Timer - Posted - 04/20/2022:  19:40:20


Has anybody ever seen one of these before though? It's got kind of a nice shape to the peghead that I appreciate.

Culloden - Posted - 04/20/2022:  21:16:41


quote:

Originally posted by banjonz

quote:

Originally posted by Culloden

No, the listing does not say anything about Vega, but it does say that the banjo has a tone ring. The seller is pretty reputable. I have dealt with him on several occasions and have never been disappointed.






It does state Vega under 'Item Specifics'.






I missed that one. I was looking at  the item description. I agree with what others have said, there is nothing about it that resembles a Vega.

Andy FitzGibbon - Posted - 04/21/2022:  03:15:26


quote:

Originally posted by The Old Timer

Has anybody ever seen one of these before though? It's got kind of a nice shape to the peghead that I appreciate.






I've seen the peghead shape used on other R&L instruments, but they didnt have the "Crown" plaque.

The Old Timer - Posted - 04/21/2022:  09:36:37


Thanks Andy.

wtalley - Posted - 04/21/2022:  12:46:54


I have one like that but it has a 9-5/8" head and a 24" scale length.

FWIW - Mike Holmes' Mugwumps site has an instrument builders index that does include Robert C. Kretschmer from NY as a builder ca. 1900.

Jim Bollman - Posted - 04/21/2022:  14:51:49


" Banjo " Bill Talley nailed it. R.C.K. was a brand used by Kretschmer who was an importer and distributor In NYC around 1900. It's unlikely the firm actually made any banjos - more likely they were built by Buckbee or perhaps John Stratton for the Kretschmer firm. The " Crown " signed banjo was one of many " trade " banjos made at the end of the 19th century ( trade meaning inexpensive for mass marketing ).

A Drum On A Stick - Posted - 04/23/2022:  10:21:16


quote:

Originally posted by Jim Bollman

more likely they were built by Buckbee or perhaps John Stratton for the Kretschmer firm.






At the risk of going slightly off topic: Did Stratton make banjos?  I thought theirs were Buckbees as well.



Not that I know much, just picked up a Stratton banjo recently and read what I could about the company.

Jim Bollman - Posted - 04/23/2022:  11:46:47


I got my Stratton info from Mike Holmes years ago. He was convinced John Stratton Co. made lots of " trade Banjos "in the latter part of the 19th century. That said, many Stratton banjos do look like they came from the Buckbee factory. I think more scholarship is necessary to eventually sort this out. The John Stratton Co. should not be confused with George W. Stratton , a Boston importer and wholesaler or Wilbert E. Stratton who partnered with Joseph A. Handley in a music store venture in Lowell , Mass. They sold high quality banjos produced by Cole and also Haynes Bay State as well as C.F. Martin mandolins.

Mark Ralston - Posted - 04/24/2022:  04:05:54


For what it's worth, here are some banjos from John Stratton's 1890 catalog.



 

Benjamin Pedigo - Posted - 04/24/2022:  07:01:56


Dick- the headstock on the ebay listing reminded me of this banjo- the BHO brain trust identified this banjo as a Buckbee- circa 1890's. The theory on the logo on the fretboard was that this was possibly the initials of a banjo teacher who had banjos made to sell to his students.



 
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