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another banjo identity crisis

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Dec 9, 2019 - 9:43:48 AM
4 posts since 12/9/2019

I recently purchased an unmarked banjo at an estate sale, head and one string were broken, I will list what I can about it and hope someone can tell me its maker.
4 string tenor, 17 fret, 11" pot, 10 7/8" skin head. It has an Elite fine-tuner tail piece, dark(ebony?) fret board with fleur de lis and star mother of pearl inlays. Tuning pegs have no gears and are held in place with springs. It has a very heavy steel ring holding the skin head in place and 20 clamps. will try to post some pics.

Dec 9, 2019 - 9:51:01 AM

6574 posts since 8/28/2013

Welcome to the Hangout.

To identify your banjo we need more and better pics. Closeups of headstock front and rear, photos of full front and rear, inside closeups of any serial numbers or other information, side view of the neck/ rim area.

Dec 9, 2019 - 12:22:05 PM

4 posts since 12/9/2019

sorry, photos taken with my ancient flip-phone.
There are no serial numbers on any of the pieces, only Elite
on the tuner.
there is white piping the length of the fret board, both sides.
Right now it is in the hands of a local repair shop being put back together
so there are no more photos available.
Thank you so much for your reply.

Dec 9, 2019 - 3:28:10 PM
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6574 posts since 8/28/2013

The headstock looks like a Slingerland product, but I'm not sure about the pot without seeing more. Slingerland banjos almost always have 10 3/4 inch heads. It's possible that the rim is out of round and you measured in only one spot. It also may be that this is a parts banjo.

Make sure the repair person has some experience with banjos. I notice there is no neck attachment hardware, which is exrtremely important to have installed before this has strings put on it.

Dec 9, 2019 - 5:35:23 PM
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8663 posts since 11/28/2003

Research Lyon & Healy or Washburn too. That peghead shape was used on some of those banjos too. Somehow to me, the inlay seems a little more like L&H than Slingerland.

Dec 9, 2019 - 6:25:36 PM
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2787 posts since 5/29/2011

I agree with John on this one. I repaired and sold a Lyon & Healy a few years ago that looked just like this one. It was clearly marked.

Edited by - Culloden on 12/09/2019 18:27:16

Dec 10, 2019 - 11:40:25 AM

4 posts since 12/9/2019

Thank you all so much for your advice, I will post pics of the banjo when it is
all put back together.
Very helpful. Thanks.

Dec 23, 2019 - 4:20:54 AM

4 posts since 12/9/2019

Project is complete, I will soon be posting new and much better pics and will then post this beauty of the Market Place.

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