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Geo. C. Dobson Victor Superior??

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Oct 11, 2018 - 8:34:47 PM
23 posts since 10/8/2018

Last month I found and acquired a pretty cool old banjo off of Craigs list. I had been watching for a couple of weeks and finally decided to go check it out. When I got home with it I began researching on line to figure out what it was. It appears to a second from the top of the line Geo. C. Dobson Victor series... the Superior. The fancy inlay on the head and neck look exactly correct but, most all of the examples I've found have 11 inch rims with 30 or 40 shoes and hooks. Mine has a larger 12 inch rim with 24 hooks and shoes. All the examples of the dowl stick have Victor inlayed and Superior carved into it... mine is blank. Anyone here have any helpful knowledge about this interesting old banjo?

Oct 11, 2018 - 8:56:29 PM

23 posts since 10/8/2018

A. Couple more pics.

Oct 12, 2018 - 3:29:20 AM

1385 posts since 1/13/2012

Dobson banjos were manufactured by the J. H. Buckbee Co., who mass-produced thousands of instruments under many different names. Many left the factory unmarked, to be sold by music jobbers, department stores, ect. Hardware, inlay patterns, and other parts were often shared between instruments. So, your banjo is not a Dobson, but only because it doesn't say so... it's likely the same level of quality as a Dobson instrument.


Oct 12, 2018 - 3:36:41 AM

1485 posts since 12/26/2007

Ditto what Andy said. Based on the photos, I would be tempted to call it an unlabeled Buckbee after the style of Dobson. Nice catch.......

Oct 12, 2018 - 6:24:37 AM

23 posts since 10/8/2018

Thanks for the info Andy FitzGibbon and Mark Ralston! I’m assuming it is from th late 1880’s to early 90’s. I really like the tone of the larger 12 inch pot! Or maybe it is the old skin head. I have two other 11 inchish Buckbees with synthetic heads, one is a fretless unmarked and the other may have been a WTB Sterling but the round Ivoroid disk that would have had the name on it is missing from the neck heel. Just the cut out where if should have been.

Oct 14, 2018 - 7:00:53 PM

23 posts since 10/8/2018

Originally posted by Mark Ralston

Ditto what Andy said. Based on the photos, I would be tempted to call it an unlabeled Buckbee after the style of Dobson. Nice catch.......

Yes I couldn't believe my luck the guy got it from got it from a friend of his who was closing an estate and knew he played music and liked to tinker. He and his wife hung it on a wall for 7 years and now he just wanted to get rid of it so he listed it on Craig's list. I watched it for a couple of weeks and finally wrote to see if it was still available. He didn't have an asking  price so I wrote that  just  judging from the pics it could be worth anywhere from 40 to 140 dollars to me depending on the condition. I went to look it over. It looked in pretty good shape and it's inlay looked familiar $40 seemed way low so I offered 80 or 90 for it and he said he'd take $80 Sold! I'm sure it was at least worth twice that. Plays great!

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