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Slingerland/ SS Stewart Universal Favorite

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Jul 12, 2019 - 8:51:33 AM
1508 posts since 10/12/2011

For $80, recently acquired a 20-30's tenor SS Stewart Universal Favorite, with a HSC. The dowel stick has a stamped 227 (i'm assuming the style number) and a 17 stamped in the rim and resonator plate. I got it from the original owners son, who told me when he was born in 1943 he could always remember that banjo in the house. He advised that his dad mostly played mandolin but had this banjo out once in a while.

I'm looking to dabble at Irish Traditional banjo.... I'm assuming it was made by Slingerland as the inlay looks just like other Slingerland banjos, and also knowing that the original SS Stewart company was gone by the time tenor banjos became a thing.

I have a technical question, if anyone knows it? The pre-war presto tail piece on the banjo came with it, but I don't feel it originally came with a presto? Am I correct? if so which tailpiece would have come with it? From my limited searching maybe a Waverly? I'd like to bring it back to close to original, and fix up the original case it came with.

Also I'm assuming it a very common and inexpensive banjo. But if anyone knows a fair market value would be good. I'm thinking $200 ish? So I can adjust my rider insurance policy.

Scott : buckholler


Edited by - buckholler on 07/12/2019 08:57:57

Jul 12, 2019 - 8:58:27 AM

1451 posts since 6/2/2010

If you want to you should be able to sell the Presto for more than you paid for the banjo. They usually sell for $100-120.

Jul 12, 2019 - 9:00:22 AM

1508 posts since 10/12/2011

Originally posted by maneckep

If you want to you should be able to sell the Presto for more than you paid for the banjo. They usually sell for $100-120.

The Presto is which interested me to buy it. 

Jul 12, 2019 - 9:28:25 AM



2635 posts since 10/11/2005

FWIW, I've got one with 225 on the dowel. It's got the same inlay on the peghead but the neck and rim are natural maple finish and no resonator.  Mine came with what looks like Stewart Common Sense tailpiece without the floret.  It also came minus the ring that sat on the outer part of the rim.  Without that, it has a slight arch-top appearance.  

I have a modern Presto on it now but I would think yours could have come with the Presto on it now, a Waverly, or even a No-Knot.

It's a fun decent sounding banjo.


Jul 12, 2019 - 1:03:42 PM



16 posts since 12/29/2012

I have the same one, different resonator, natural finish, marked ‘Princess’ on the dowel stick. It has a Presto. It may or may not be original, but if it isn’t, it was swapped out a very very long time ago.


Jul 12, 2019 - 1:35:40 PM

6125 posts since 8/28/2013

Slingerland-made, for sure. They used a number of different tailpiece suppliers, and would also use what a wholesaler might request, so the Presto may very well be original. Many of thesedid, in fact have Waverly tailpieces (I have a Waverly on my Slingerland-made Washington).

I'd guess the banjo to be worth about $200 provided the neck is straight and the dowelstick hasn't come loose.

These are generally good, solid, banjos, although they are not top end models.

Edited by - G Edward Porgie on 07/12/2019 13:36:05

Jul 12, 2019 - 3:01:11 PM

2204 posts since 4/29/2012

I've got 2 Slingerland 5 strings of similar vintage. Both have Prestos which I have no reason to believe are not original to the instruments. These are original pre-war 5 string Prestos - so worth a lot more than the banjos they are on. 

Edited by - AndrewD on 07/12/2019 15:02:21

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