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Old buckbee labelled with a "C"

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Jun 12, 2019 - 6:31:57 AM
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163 posts since 1/30/2019

Hi, I have just bought this on eBay. It was a bargain. (No-one ever says I just bought this on eBay, and went a bit over my limit, do they?) But it was a bargain. It has lots which makes me think buckbee, like the screws through the pot into the heel, and the pebble nickel spun over pot. But what is intriguing is the the label. I know JHB built for lots of dealers and players etc. But the label has a big fancy capital letter C, and the word "boudoir", and the ivoroid tailpiece has the same letter C. Any ideas? Cammeyer? Converse? (Think Converse logo is different....) Anyway, the condition is astoundingly good, just needs a new head (will go for renaissance) and new nylgut red series. I'll probably make a bridge, I have some mahogany somewhere.

What do you think, 1880s?


Edited by - Andyrhydycreuau on 06/12/2019 07:20:05

Jun 12, 2019 - 7:38:19 AM
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130 posts since 4/11/2019

Really nice find if you ask me.

Whatever it takes to get into the "Boudoir" is usually worth it!!

Jun 12, 2019 - 9:00:37 AM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

Like I said, a bargain. Can't wait for my new head and strings....

Jun 12, 2019 - 9:28:47 AM

10633 posts since 4/23/2004

The "Frank B Converse" logo is a musical staff with notes on the lines that represent his initials "F B C". His name is usually arched over the musical staff.

Unless you can find that exact style of "C" listed as a trademark, it could represent anything.

Jun 12, 2019 - 9:31:53 AM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

I saw a few pictures of converse logo with the stave. Wouldn't know where to look for US trademarks though?

Jun 12, 2019 - 10:29:16 AM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

22111 posts since 6/25/2005

I think it’s British. “Boudoir” is unlikely as a U.S. usage, and the heel isn’t exactly the typical Buckbee style.

Jun 12, 2019 - 11:15:30 AM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

That pot looks identical to a celebrated Benary I played once, and several pictures on BHO. Not just a little bit similar, identical. And there are heels like this too on buckbees, but it isn't the standard Dobson type I know. Buckbee made for the UK market too as far as I've read? So a UK importer of Buckbee? Will try to search trade marks somehow...
Though of course you never really know who's writing stuff online and where it came from or how reliable it is.

Jun 12, 2019 - 12:00:28 PM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

Ok, that's useful, thanks. The pebble pot is identical to a celebrated Benary I played once, and to photos on BHO. Not just a little bit similar, identical. And there appear to be buckbee heels like this one on BHO too, but it's not the classic Dobson type I know.
British banjos of this early fretless period don't attach with screws into the heel either. I know British banjos and their construction pretty well, and this doesn't sit as British for me.
Of course unless it's in an original source like a catalogue or period magazine you never really know what you're reading is true, but I've read buckbee exported many banjos to the UK market too? So could be a UK supplier labelling an import as C and Boudoir?

Jun 12, 2019 - 12:14:11 PM

1485 posts since 1/13/2012

It doesn't look British at all. Most certainly a Buckbee product.

I don't see the use of French as indicative of anything, really... it wouldn't be the first or last time a marketer appropriated a foreign word to lend their product a bit of extra pizazz. I've seen several Buckbees, apparently built for the US market, with the word "Bijou" inlaid in the heel cap.

Andy

Jun 12, 2019 - 12:56:44 PM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

That's my view too, but the labelling is a puzzle we may not solve. Have searched UK trademarks, can find nothing. US system seems harder to navigate.
A buckbee "C" is all I can call it now.....

Jun 12, 2019 - 4:35:33 PM

3291 posts since 1/2/2004

Any sense of whether the pegs, ivoroid I presume, are original or at least age appropriate - or contemporary replacements? Are the buttons on the peghead tuners "plain" like the fifth string peg? Just curious . . .

Jun 12, 2019 - 7:34:01 PM

188 posts since 6/23/2013

Looks to have E.J.Cubley's finger prints on it, same peghead shape, same cut of the neck at the fifth string tuner, the odd cross section shape of the tension hoop and the same tailpiece as what is on the Cubley "Dec 11, 1888 pantent" banjo that I have.
The metal plycard on the stick with the same "C" that is on the tailpiece is a bit confusing.

Edited by - joe28675 on 06/12/2019 19:37:06

Jun 12, 2019 - 10:34:12 PM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Brooklynbanjoboy

Any sense of whether the pegs, ivoroid I presume, are original or at least age appropriate - or contemporary replacements? Are the buttons on the peghead tuners "plain" like the fifth string peg? Just curious . . .


Hi Brooklynbanjoboy. Yes ivoroid, yes presume contemporary, but can't know. Buttons all plain. What are you thinking?

Jun 12, 2019 - 10:37:14 PM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

quote:Originally posted by joe28675Looks to have E.J.Cubley's finger prints on it, same peghead shape, same cut of the neck at the fifth string tuner, the odd cross section shape of the tension hoop and the same tailpiece as what is on the Cubley "Dec 11, 1888 pantent" banjo that I have.
The metal plycard on the stick with the same "C" that is on the tailpiece is a bit confusing.
Hi @joe28675, have you got pictures of your Cubley? That sounds interesting......

Jun 13, 2019 - 2:55:31 AM

1501 posts since 12/26/2007

For what it's worth, here are some pics of a 5-string with a Cammeyer "Boudoir" heel cap.  As I recall, Cammeyer worked for a while in the USA and Buckbee may have made some of his banjos.  He moved to England in 1888, according to VintageBanjoMaker.com

http://www.vintagebanjomaker.com/cammeyer/4594323388






 

Jun 13, 2019 - 5:40:35 AM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

Well that's nothing like mine, except the "Boudoir" in quotes. Banjo looks fancier too.

Jun 13, 2019 - 8:52:05 AM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

The font / typeface used for the word "BOUDOIR" is the same though.

Jun 13, 2019 - 7:35:31 PM

188 posts since 6/23/2013

Photos of Cubley banjo, patented Dec 11, 1888


Jun 14, 2019 - 1:29:44 AM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

Thanks Joe, that's a really nice banjo. Fascinating stuff this. I had a look over at the Cubley group too, and that says the Cubley banjos never had a wooden spun pot, just all metal, and yours looks like that too? With a metal perch pole? Also a really fancy looped tailpiece? My banjo has the same C branded tailpiece but also the metal name plate with the same logo on the perch. That could mean that Cubley originally made banjos with a wooden pot, and had a model called "Boudoir" made by Buckbee. Or it could mean that your banjo lost its fancy Cubley tailpiece, and inherited one taken off a banjo like mine.

I'll keep digging into the Cubley vein I think. It's finished now too, pictures attached.


Jun 14, 2019 - 3:35:53 AM

1485 posts since 1/13/2012

Cubley made wood rim banjos, not just all metal rims... though I can't recall if I've ever seen one with a clad rim.

The pebbled cladding is something I've only ever seen on Buckbee products, but perhaps Cubley did a few. Or, maybe he purchased some rims from Buckbee. Curley's general aesthetic does bear a lot of resemblance to Buckbee's work.

Andy

Jun 14, 2019 - 7:21:13 AM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

Wow, those Cubley banjos look really nice. Having either a Cubley (?) or a Buckbee (?) is good I think.
Still looks and feels like a buckbee to me, so my favoured hypothesis is that a tailpiece like mine ended up on a Cubley. Any evolutionary biologists out there? Parsimony is important in assessing I reckon, and simplest explanation is the most likely.
Any other Cubley banjos out there with the "C" logo?
And it sounds really sweet, even after 140 years, which is the main thing, of course.

Jun 14, 2019 - 7:55:38 AM

188 posts since 6/23/2013

Most of the Cubley banjos that I have seen have had wood rims. I have seen a few that the outside circumferance was covered in velvet (although most of the nap gone leaving only the base material) held in place with a metal band on the bottom of the rim. Cubley patented his two piece hollow metal rim in 1883 but even then, I suspect most of what he produced were the cheaper wood rim banjos with a wood dowell (perch pole).

Jun 14, 2019 - 8:10:53 AM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

So - one other known Cubley with that "C" logo would nail it for me? Anyone?

Jun 14, 2019 - 8:44:52 AM

10633 posts since 4/23/2004

I'll pull down my Cubley tonight and check. IIRC, mine has as similar paddle peghead but has the metal Cubley tailpiece with the loops on either side. I don't remember how the dowelstick is marked (or if it is marked). Mine has a very thin wood rim...and is feather light.

Mine also has the goofy Cubley spanner-nuts. If anyone has an original key for it, I would be interested. I've only ever seen the key in a picture on the internet.

Jun 14, 2019 - 12:11:59 PM

163 posts since 1/30/2019

Thanks Marc, it'd be interesting to see pictures.....

Jun 14, 2019 - 2:12:35 PM
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163 posts since 1/30/2019

https://youtu.be/AscasyYBos0

This is what it sounds like. Nice huh?

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