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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: What are these?

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DroopyPawn - Posted - 05/22/2023:  15:03:49

A friend request info on these two. Can anyone help?



May be an image of banjo

May be an image of banjo

A Drum On A Stick - Posted - 05/22/2023:  15:49:49

It might be a banjo.

Perhaps two.

Dan Gellert - Posted - 05/22/2023:  16:06:20

The fretless is likely from Buckbee's factory. 1880-1920?

The fretted one looks entirely homemade, except for the hardware. Could have been made almost any time during the 20th c., or the last couple decades of the 19th. Some of its features (like no heel on the neck) give it an archaic look, but the overall proportions suggest to me the influence of designs from at earliest the 19-teens. A very rough guess.

From what I can see in the pictures, the hooks, shoes, and nuts match (mostly). If that's the case, they're probably original to the instrument. Share some close-ups, and there's probably someone here who will be able to tell you when those particular patterns were first made, giving you an idea of the earliest possible date on the banjo.

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 05/22/2023:  17:08:21

Fretless is probably Buckbee, but Buckbee went belly up in the late 1890's and was purchased by Rettburg and Lange.
The one with frets does look home made.

Tell you friend to get rid of those steel strings. They will cut wooden tuners and tailpieces to bits and won't do the rest any good, either.

TN Time - Posted - 05/22/2023:  19:26:02

To me (and YMMV) I think these two have crossed over to the wall hanger phase of their lives.

Bill Rogers - Posted - 05/22/2023:  20:02:50

Roger that.

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 05/23/2023:  10:40:45

Unless the necks have serious problems, These look salvageable to me. I am not saying either will be a great banjo, just that they can probably be made playable.

The one with frets is questionable, because those frets may not be accurately placed.

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