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Need help identifying art/folk banjo

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Sep 21, 2019 - 9:16:58 PM
likes this
195 posts since 7/1/2011

Does the style of this banjo ring any bells for anyone? I’m trying to identify its maker or any other information I can find. It has no maker mark. No wood post; it has a threaded rod.

The neck is straight highly figured maple. Fingerboard is fretless. 5th string peg is friction like the other four.

Edited by - AlpacaLips on 09/21/2019 21:18:33

Sep 21, 2019 - 11:00:38 PM

342 posts since 2/5/2014

Sure is pretty.

Sep 22, 2019 - 12:31:05 AM
Players Union Member



447 posts since 4/17/2019

That neck looks like taffy. The curly is for strength, the quilting is her stretch marks from the wind. Look how straight a simple construct like this is.

That's a 3-tier "brick" rim  , looks like 6 or 8 pcs. per tier.   then the tiers are offset.  I've heard rumor of Columbia and SS Stewart brick or block rims that are still round. 

Edited by - Helix1 on 09/22/2019 00:33:50

Sep 22, 2019 - 12:36:17 AM
Players Union Member



447 posts since 4/17/2019

AlpacaLips Please post pictures of the inside of the rim and other photos with more detail like the back length of the neck, that baby is special.

Sep 22, 2019 - 3:19:12 AM

4528 posts since 3/22/2008

Style bells - Cues taken from Farris' Banjay; one of S. S. Stewart's "melody" banjos; Stathopoulo and McGinnis & Shaw Bandolins (violin style peg box).

Sep 22, 2019 - 8:11:18 AM

195 posts since 7/1/2011

The banjo isn’t currently in my possession, so my pictures are limited quality and quantity. Here are the remaining ones I can offer if they're any help. The antler heel seems somewhat distinctive to me. It doesn’t look quite like it belongs, and I don’t think I’ve seen that before. Maybe this is evidence of a one-off banjo, or possibly a DIY repair or embellishment. 

Thanks for replies so far.

Edited by - AlpacaLips on 09/22/2019 08:13:36

Sep 22, 2019 - 9:10:12 AM

195 posts since 7/1/2011

I’ll also add a completely unreasonable request: assuming that this thing sounds appropriately slidy and plunky and has decent action (I haven’t played it yet), I’d be curious to hear any speculations as to value.

With no name/model by which prospective buyers can make comparisons, there are really only four factors to assigning a value:
—as an art piece

And that means it’s 100% subjective.

Sep 22, 2019 - 3:02:29 PM
Players Union Member



14484 posts since 3/27/2004

Hi Cory,

I'm pretty sure I've seen this banjo posted here in the past by whoever made it.  If I'm correct it was made within the last 10 years, so would be considered a modern small shop maker instrument.

If I didn't see it here then I've seen it on someone's personal website.

Value?  Perhaps $500 or in that general range.

Edited by - rudy on 09/22/2019 15:06:45

Sep 22, 2019 - 3:53:56 PM

195 posts since 7/1/2011

Interesting... I’ve gone through many many google images but haven’t been able to find it yet.

Sep 22, 2019 - 7:52:47 PM



23 posts since 4/8/2019

Its nice looking, that billet chunk of highly figured maple for the neck would be fairly expensive I'd guess (i.e. not a inexpensive banjo when it was made). I wish you luck in finding its source.

Sep 23, 2019 - 2:25:42 PM

10392 posts since 10/27/2006

Sure looks like a modern banjo. The co-rod is a dead giveaway.

The pegs appear to standard 2° taper fiddle pegs you can get anywhere.

Sep 23, 2019 - 2:34:21 PM

768 posts since 2/17/2005

Looks like Dan Knowles work

Sep 23, 2019 - 6:52:52 PM

195 posts since 7/1/2011

Originally posted by R. Blakeslee Gilpin

Looks like Dan Knowles work


Dan reports it isn’t his. 

Sep 24, 2019 - 7:44:29 AM



1166 posts since 9/15/2010


Luke Mercier did some fiddle headed banjos


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