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Any ideas what banjo this is..?

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Jul 11, 2020 - 9:58:49 AM
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13 posts since 7/11/2020

Hello...

Found this banjo in the attic and my house is very old... (built in the 1860's)..

Any idea what make of Banjo this is and its age? I like it very much and am getting it fixed on Monday so I can learn to play it hopefully...

Many thanks in advance :)


 

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:00:17 AM

13102 posts since 10/30/2008

Please show a photo of the back, and a close up of the peghead (where the tuners are).

Nice find!

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:04:23 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

Here you go...
Many thanks..

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:06:51 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

Here you go... :)


 

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:07:23 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

And this...

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:08:08 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

...

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:09:28 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

Sorry... Have newbie issues...

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:11:05 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

...


 

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:13:08 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

...


 

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:13:36 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

...


 

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:14:31 AM

1052 posts since 3/21/2013

Intereting abalone inlays! I'd  guess home made neck, factory pot and flange, post 1920.  The whirling log inlay and abalone has me interested... what is the engraved piece on the headstock?

Edited by - jun3machina on 07/11/2020 10:17:57

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:20:16 AM

1052 posts since 3/21/2013

Also, i would remove the resonator back and see if theres any information on the inside of the head or dowel

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:21:24 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

Thanks for the reply... I can't tell either.. I wonder if a piece has come off and maybe missing...

I love it though... Thanks for replying!

Jul 11, 2020 - 10:24:39 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

Sadly, absolutely nothing...


 

Jul 11, 2020 - 12:08:25 PM

13102 posts since 10/30/2008

Someone literally commented on that "scalloped" tension hoop design here on BHO yesterday!

Good job on the interior photo, that ought to ring a bell with someone who knows British banjos.

Interesting!

For the record, two of your original Grover pancake geared tuners are missing, replaced with plain old friction tuners like a ukulele might need. When you fix this up to play you'll probably want to buy a couple geared tuners for easier tuning.

Jul 11, 2020 - 12:11:23 PM

13102 posts since 10/30/2008

Check out this thread to see more British banjos with "scalloped" tension hoops.

banjohangout.org/topic/366367

Jul 11, 2020 - 12:14:48 PM
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270 posts since 2/21/2012

Hi Robbie, You have a home made Tenor Banjo, with interesting inlays.
They do not conform to any known maker, and are quite unique to the
Person that made your banjo. Obviously with a passion for ornate
Decoration. If it sounds and plays OK enjoy ,
Keith

Jul 11, 2020 - 12:46:21 PM
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5394 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

Someone literally commented on that "scalloped" tension hoop design here on BHO yesterday!

Good job on the interior photo, that ought to ring a bell with someone who knows British banjos.

Interesting!

For the record, two of your original Grover pancake geared tuners are missing, replaced with plain old friction tuners like a ukulele might need. When you fix this up to play you'll probably want to buy a couple geared tuners for easier tuning.


Other than Fred Van Eps in the US, this was exclusively an English* feature (as far as I can tell).

*note where the OP is located.

Jul 11, 2020 - 1:34:50 PM
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2755 posts since 4/29/2012

And as to date. 1860's is a tad optimistic. Tenor banjos like this didn't even exist until just before the 1st World War and removable resonators appeared in the 20's . I'd guess this one's head is 1920's or 30's or even later. The neck is unlikely to be older than the head.

Jul 11, 2020 - 1:43:01 PM

banjonz

New Zealand

10943 posts since 6/29/2003

English was my first impression due to the scalloped tension band. The neck is definitely home made and very crudely done. The white 'binding' is hand painted on as is some of the fretboard 'inlay'. You could replace the tuners with a set of Asian made planetary ones from Ebay. I doubt if it would be worth putting on more expensive Gotoh tuners of the like. Just my 2c worth.

Jul 12, 2020 - 12:06:10 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

Thankyou EVERYONE for all the replies... I am a complete newbie and just found it in the corner of my loft..

I was not saying I thought the banjo was from the 1860's... Just that my house was built in the 1860's...

Yeh, it's booked into the local instrument repair shop so I'll pass on all the useful information to the guy there... I just think it'll be great to have in the lounge and there to pick up and learn to play and for friends to tinkle with who can play when they come over!

Cheers folks..! :)

Jul 12, 2020 - 5:55:27 PM

2755 posts since 4/29/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Robstene

Thankyou EVERYONE for all the replies... I am a complete newbie and just found it in the corner of my loft..

I was not saying I thought the banjo was from the 1860's... Just that my house was built in the 1860's...

Yeh, it's booked into the local instrument repair shop so I'll pass on all the useful information to the guy there... I just think it'll be great to have in the lounge and there to pick up and learn to play and for friends to tinkle with who can play when they come over!

Cheers folks..! :)


Had a closer look at your photos. Maybe an optical illusion - But the fret positioning looks distinctly iffy. At one point the distance between frets looks to increase as you go up the neck. Not sure if this one will ever be a player without expensive work that it doesn't warrant.

Jul 12, 2020 - 6:24:47 PM

7382 posts since 8/28/2013

I think Andrew is right about those frets. They definitely look badly spaced and some are even crooked.

I think I'd go ahead and string it up, though, just to determine if it has a decent tone. The rim might be pretty good, and a different neck might be an affordable option, especially since you got the banjo for free.

If it sounds like garbage, you're only out a small bit of money, and the banjo might make an interesting decoration.

Jul 13, 2020 - 4:04:41 AM

13 posts since 7/11/2020

quote:
Originally posted by banjowilly22

Hi Robbie, You have a home made Tenor Banjo, with interesting inlays.
They do not conform to any known maker, and are quite unique to the
Person that made your banjo. Obviously with a passion for ornate
Decoration. If it sounds and plays OK enjoy ,
Keith


Thanks Keith... 

I've taken it today to a repair guy near me... There's a few metal frets missing and the missing tuners might be an issue as the head is closer to 18-19mm than standard 15mm...

But should have it back in a couple of weeks! Be great to just get it working again... 

 

Cheers for your info. 

Jul 17, 2020 - 1:01:13 PM

182 posts since 2/17/2004

Frankenstein

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