Until recently, one of my favorite banjos has been just some “vintage Dobson”. I’ve just concluded, though, more accurately, that it’s probably a George C. Dobson, "Victor- Concert" (type) banjo (ca. 1885).
You can SEE DOWNLOADED PHOTOS, in my "Dobson Banjo" album, if you're interested...
Billsbanjos.com refers to the “Victor-Concert” model as “being one of the top grades originally priced at $48, a high quality banjo … with good hardware, a real ebony fingerboard, and nice pearl inlays”. My Guru/ Bollman book “America’s instrument, the Banjo in the 19th Century” explains that this banjo was mass produced and probably made in New York City at the Buckbee factory. I think that this banjo is historically interesting because it marks the beginning of a period of time when the banjo was first becoming really accessible to the mainstream public. The banjo was just entering a "golden age" and becoming commonplace in late Victorian parlors.
This is a light weight, cute looking banjo, with a shorter "A-scale" length, that’s fun to play. It is shown in my current avatar picture. I don't think it is worth that much, but I sure like it. Here is my attempt at a description of the Dobson tone ring sound; bright, responsive, tinny, medium sustain, punchy, and quick. Compared to the “Electric” tone ring, however, it lacks the power and lower notes clarity of my Reiter Regent.
It is fun thinking that I know more about my banjo. Good notes to you! Dock Jekel
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