Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Discussion Forum

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!

 All Forums
 Other Banjo-Related Topics
 Collector's Corner
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Liberty banjo

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:

thefishman - Posted - 04/28/2022:  09:32:02

A friend of mine inherited this banjo from his father who got it from “the banjo man”, Jerry Weaver. Can you give me any information about it such as manufacturer, age, value etc.?

BobbyE - Posted - 04/28/2022:  09:37:38

Please supply pictures or any other information so that we have something to go by.  Also go to the archived section of the BHO and input 'Liberty banjos,' and I would imagine there will be some info there.  Might be some photos as well.


Edited by - BobbyE on 04/28/2022 09:39:07

Bob Smakula - Posted - 04/28/2022:  09:46:40

I have seen at least 3 manufacturers that produced banjos marked Liberty. The detailed pictures are necessary. And please post them directly to the forum for more comments from the banjo brain trust.

Bob Smakula

thefishman - Posted - 04/28/2022:  10:02:17

Sorry guys. I thought I posted 4 photos. It says they were uploaded?

Jbo1 - Posted - 04/28/2022:  10:08:59

The pot (the round part) looks a lot like the Slingerland Maybell in the recent "Gifted Banjo, Please Help" post. When you upload the photos, take the resonator off the back of the pot (I believe it unscrews) and take some photos of the inside. There may be some identifying info on the dowel stick as well. Get some closeups of the resonator. That will help to see if the inlay is actual wood or a decal.

It does look pretty.

BTW, when is someone going to gift me a nice banjo?

carlb - Posted - 04/28/2022:  10:16:45


Originally posted by thefishman

Sorry guys. I thought I posted 4 photos. It says they were uploaded?

To show them individually, you'll need to select them as a "Attachments" to a post.

J.Albert - Posted - 04/28/2022:  11:17:35

That one wasn't made by the former "Liberty Banjo Company" that once had a storefront in Bridgeport, CT...

tdennis - Posted - 04/28/2022:  11:21:53

This looks like a Liberty Musical Instrument co.  banjo from  c.1926-27. (This company was bought by Slingerland, who produced a few more instruments from the existing inventory but  using different brand names). 

Edited by - tdennis on 04/28/2022 11:26:43

gottasmilealot - Posted - 04/28/2022:  11:28:53


Originally posted by tdennis

This looks like a Liberty Musical Instrument co.  banjo from  c.1926-27. (This company was bought by Slingerland, who produced a few more instruments from the existing inventory but  using different brand names). 

That sounds right to me.

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 04/28/2022:  13:32:20

Looks very much like a Slingerland product, one of their higher grade banjos. I don't think it's from "existing inventory," but was made entirely by Slingerland.

beezaboy - Posted - 04/28/2022:  14:03:25

Follow Up on tdennis post is attached.

Good memory tdennis!!

Edited by - beezaboy on 04/28/2022 14:04:49

tdennis - Posted - 04/28/2022:  14:53:56

The back story is that Slingerland bought the Liberty co. merely to get their drum & banjo making machinery, heads & accessories because Slingerland was switching to drum making. Banjos, ukuleles & banjo ukes were fading & Slingerland wanted to get out of the banjo business. My understanding is that they let the Liberty name fade, & used stocks of materials to make banjos & banjo ukes for a short time, released under their own brand names. (I'm not sure if they mixed Liberty & Slingerland parts during this transition period).
Liberty tenors are uncommon, & I haven't seen their entire model line. Slingerland was still making their own instruments at the time, & made no effort to extend the Liberty brand.

thefishman - Posted - 04/29/2022:  03:08:57

I’ll have more pictures soon from insides of the resonator, pot and a closeup of resonator. Where should I look for serial numbers? Any estimates of its value at this point?

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 04/29/2022:  08:10:55

Look for serial numbers on the dowelstick (the wooden bar inside that runs from neck to tailpiece mounting points) and on inside of the rim . However, don't expect to find a serial number on any Slingerland product. I think others have given a pretty accurate date with those articles about the buy-out of Liberty.

I may give a value opinion after I see more pictures, but this is an obscure maker that was bought by a company that many people think of as solely as a maker of 'student model' banjo, so it will never bring you a King's ransom.

beezaboy - Posted - 04/29/2022:  09:40:30

Linked is an archived BHO post re: Liberty Banjo.

 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Rare 1926 Liberty Plectrum Banjo

The resonator decoration is somehow familiar to me but I can't place it.  Maybe this decoration would distinguish an original Liberty Musical Instrument Co. from a Slingerland product.

Edited by - beezaboy on 04/29/2022 09:44:45

thefishman - Posted - 04/29/2022:  10:52:26

Very interesting!

tdennis - Posted - 04/29/2022:  12:44:20

You will probably not find a serial number, but Liberty did stamp their dowel rod w/ the full name of the company, "Liberty Musical Instrument co.", and a number. (My Liberty banjo uke is marked w/ a "1" which I assumed was a model number for their plainest & smallest BU. Slingerland also frequently stamped the dowel rod w/ a name of their brand plus a model number. Look on the dowel rod for a stamping.

tdennis - Posted - 04/30/2022:  20:36:12

..Look familiar ?

thefishman - Posted - 05/01/2022:  03:35:50

Yes that does look very similar!
I’ll hopefully get my hands on the banjo this week, go over it and post some more pictures. Thanks tdennis

thefishman - Posted - 05/01/2022:  03:58:19

bezzaboy, I got a chance to fully read your link. The pictures you posted look so much the banjo I'm dealing with. Have you found out any new information since that post, I believe it was from 2016

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories