I just bought this banjo off Craigslist and it appears to be in decent shape but I can't identify it. The stick in back has no ID and has no hardware (except 2 screws to attach the neck to the rim.) The head has been replaced with a new skin head and the tailpiece says Waverly.
It has 31 hooks (including tailpiece,) and there is a brass rim underneath the chrome plating over a black wood rim.
It's a humble item, which is my preference, but any help identifying the maker and date would be helpful. Is it a Buckbee? A period copy? Would the Waverly tailpiece be original? I paid $125 for it, I hope it's worth at least that?
I plan to clean it up, replace the 5th string peg and put Nylgut strings on it and play it!
The metal Waverly tailpiece (for metal strings) doesn't pair up with the wooden tuning pegs (intended for gut strings).
Would need photos of the inside of the rim to make any further guess.
Good luck with this nice project.
Looks like a Buckbee. More pics would be helpful. Shot of the inside and a side shot. Probably late 1880’s to 1900.
Doesn't look like Buckbee to me, and I'd say it's closer to 1900 than 1880's.
Get rid of those steel strings right now, and also try to find a more appropriate tailpiece.
From the pot hardware maybe Lyon and Healy ?
Is the rim delaminating?
Thanks everybody for your input. I don't think this banjo has been played for decades. Someone put a 4 string bridge on it and made it a tenor banjo! I've already fit a new 5th string peg and will have Nylgut strings this afternoon.
I have a Lyon and Healy too and the hardware, while pretty close, does not seem to be an exact match to my mystery banjo... for what it's worth.
The exterior rim shows wear and exposes the brass underneath, so more worn off rather than de-laminating I think. the interior rim is just losing paint... but solid. I may leave it that way?
It's cleaning up nicely and I can't wait to play it this afternoon!
Lyon & Healy.
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