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Jul 5, 2020 - 4:20:59 AM
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37 posts since 12/19/2017

Two years ago I got this banjo and put up a post asking for help identifying it. One person said that they had seen one and another said they were given one from an older friend but nobody said who, when or where it was made. These are the pictures from before I bought it, before I did a lot of work to make it playable and before I repaired the headstock that was coming apart. I pretty sure that it is not super valuable or rare but it has nice inlay and after the work it sounds terrific.

Jul 5, 2020 - 5:09:40 AM

30 posts since 5/22/2017

Looks like a Rettburg and Lange product.

Jul 5, 2020 - 5:20:09 AM

37 posts since 12/19/2017

I felt like that but nobody seems to know for sure. The man who owned it before me was 84yrs old when I got it. The banjo had belonged to his grandfather who was in the navy during World War One. He supposedly got it as a gift around 1904 but I don’t have anything to prove that.

Jul 5, 2020 - 5:58:44 AM

2105 posts since 10/17/2013

Very intriguing!


I wish you luck in finding out exactly what model and brand the banjo was.

Jul 5, 2020 - 6:42:53 AM

1393 posts since 4/25/2007

I think Drew is correct on it being a Rettberg and Lange. 1904 sounds also sounds right to me.

Jul 5, 2020 - 6:59:37 AM

1599 posts since 6/2/2010
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I agree with the others. I have a Rettberg and Lange from the same era and the headstock is shaped just like yours.

Jul 5, 2020 - 7:00:21 AM

30 posts since 5/22/2017

Is it an all metal pot? I can’t tell if the inside of pot is just super dirty.

Edited by - banjocleaver on 07/05/2020 07:00:46

Jul 5, 2020 - 7:00:59 AM

37 posts since 12/19/2017

Thanks for everyone’s thoughts on this banjo. I need to find replacements for some of the shoe brackets and hooks so they will be correct and matching. I also want to know what the value is before and after the replacement of mix match parts. I am wanting to sell but I am trying to justify doing the repair or just selling as is. Once I get my idea together, I am going to take pictures of it as it sits and if I don’t do the repair I will use them to post it for sale.

Jul 5, 2020 - 7:02:30 AM

37 posts since 12/19/2017

The pot is clad in metal inside and out.

Jul 5, 2020 - 12:18:13 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


23785 posts since 6/25/2005

Double-spun pot. Pete Peterson plays a similar banjo, which I think is an R&L, but no one’s sure. Double-spun banjos aren’t that common, and they tend to have a great old-time sound.

Jul 6, 2020 - 2:29:39 PM

120 posts since 12/21/2012
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I would guess the "O" in the headstock decal stands for "Orpheum".  Orpheum banjos were made by Rettburg and Lange in that time period. For some general history Fretboard Journal wrote this artical on a tenor version

Edited by - Red Squirrel on 07/06/2020 14:31:06

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