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Dec 13, 2019 - 12:12:42 PM

TheUSC

USA

5 posts since 12/13/2019

I just purchased from a friend a banjo labeled AES 133. From internet searches it appears to be an Arthur Smith Banjo and the 133 is the serial number. I would like to determine the model. Does anyone have experience with this brand?

Dec 13, 2019 - 12:25:35 PM

Eric A

USA

345 posts since 10/15/2019

Here's a link to a site the old owners made. Some old catalogs and stuff too. The short answer is the Northampton is the lower model, Maple Leaf in the middle, and Shelburne is the fancy one.

Northampton has a 1/4" rolled brass tone ring.  Maple Leaf and Shelburne a three piece tone system. Shelburne has a unique internal resonator.  27" fret scale on all of them.  The inlays might not tell you which is which because many were quite simple on all models.

http://aesmithbanjo.com/

I play a Northampton, AES 214  yes

 


 

Edited by - Eric A on 12/13/2019 12:34:20

Dec 13, 2019 - 12:34:19 PM

TheUSC

USA

5 posts since 12/13/2019

Thanks. It looks like this one could be the Maple Leaf model based on the pictures.

Dec 13, 2019 - 12:36:43 PM

Eric A

USA

345 posts since 10/15/2019

quote:
Originally posted by TheUSC

Thanks. It looks like this one could be the Maple Leaf model based on the pictures.


Congratulations!  You have a very nice banjo there.  If you decide to sell it, hit me up.  I'm sure we'd all love to see some pics!

If you can see an obvious tone ring system under there, but no resonator system, then that must be the Maple Leaf.

Edited by - Eric A on 12/13/2019 12:47:36

Dec 13, 2019 - 1:23:59 PM

TheUSC

USA

5 posts since 12/13/2019

I think it’s been in the case for over 20 years....


Dec 13, 2019 - 1:37:01 PM

80 posts since 9/1/2018
Online Now

Watched Arthur when I was growing up a lot. CU, GO TIGERS. Had to add that mr theusc!

Dec 13, 2019 - 1:40:45 PM

TheUSC

USA

5 posts since 12/13/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Knothead

Watched Arthur when I was growing up a lot. CU, GO TIGERS. Had to add that mr theusc!


I think it's a different Arthur Smith. ??

we're a split household. My son an daughter in Law are both professors at CU. 

Dec 13, 2019 - 1:45:04 PM
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655 posts since 5/19/2018

Those AESmith banjos were a game changer when the second string boutique builders started to come out in the ‘70’s.

Pretty high quality instruments. I would say at this point they would constitute as being vintage.

Certainly a keeper.

Dec 13, 2019 - 1:46:09 PM

Eric A

USA

345 posts since 10/15/2019

quote:
Originally posted by TheUSC
quote:
Originally posted by Knothead

Watched Arthur when I was growing up a lot. CU, GO TIGERS. Had to add that mr theusc!


I think it's a different Arthur Smith. ??

we're a split household. My son an daughter in Law are both professors at CU. 


Actually they named the banjo company after a bridge in the vicinity of their shop in Massachusetts. 

Looks great, btw.  Definitely a Maple Leaf.  And somebody clearly loved it enough to play it A LOT, judging by the head wear.

Edited by - Eric A on 12/13/2019 13:48:54

Dec 13, 2019 - 1:53:05 PM

TheUSC

USA

5 posts since 12/13/2019

Thanks. As I mentioned I think it has been locked up in the case for over 20 years. It belonged to this guys Father. I bought it and one other tenor banjo just to help him out. I’m a guitar player. I haven’t decided on it’s future yet. I’ve been playing it a bit.

Dec 13, 2019 - 1:56:26 PM

882 posts since 1/9/2012

I built my first one as a teenager. About a decade later (~1977) I bought my first professionally made banjo, a Maple Leaf (#222), new, and still have it. It's a really fine instrument. (I've long been kicking myself that I didn't spring for their internal resonator Shelburne, but it seemed like a lot of money back then.)

Dec 13, 2019 - 2:08:13 PM

Eric A

USA

345 posts since 10/15/2019

You guys are making me jealous. I was just telling my wife maybe a week ago that I like my Northampton so much that I really have no interest in another banjo, at any price, except...maybe...if a Maple Leaf pops up somewhere....just...as siblings, you know...purely in the interest of historical preservation, of course... wink

Dec 13, 2019 - 2:09:44 PM

jbalch

USA

8663 posts since 11/28/2003

I had one of those AE Smith catalogs back on the day. Used to dream of owning one of their Internal Resonator models.

Nice find!

Dec 13, 2019 - 2:15:26 PM

7045 posts since 11/4/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Eric AIf you decide to sell it, hit me up.

I'll beat whatever Eric offers you.

- Don B.

Dec 13, 2019 - 2:20:53 PM

Eric A

USA

345 posts since 10/15/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Don Borchelt
quote:
Originally posted by Eric AIf you decide to sell it, hit me up.

I'll beat whatever Eric offers you.

- Don B.


Well dang, this thread has taken an unfortunate turn!broken heart

Edited by - Eric A on 12/13/2019 14:23:00

Dec 13, 2019 - 2:32:14 PM
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Jbo1

USA

863 posts since 5/19/2007

Eric, don't offer him a live animal. I'd hate to see it get beaten.

Dec 13, 2019 - 3:08:16 PM
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4517 posts since 3/6/2006

Damn...more seller's remorse about selling my Shelburne II in 1989 for $700 that I bought new in 1982!

Dec 15, 2019 - 8:04:04 AM

Eric A

USA

345 posts since 10/15/2019

Seems like as good a place as any to post a pic of my Northampton.  Maple rim, Cherry neck.
 


Dec 16, 2019 - 7:20:17 AM

187 posts since 4/7/2010

My fried had an AES Shelbourne that I tried to buy for years but he wouldn't sell. He finally came around but by then I'd found my Bacon Pro FF. I sure loved that Shelbourne though!

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