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Aug 16, 2020 - 3:49:32 AM



380 posts since 8/4/2006

a can offer a Big Chief tenor from a widow in mint condition
any interest ? - was listed in Gruhn inventory for 7500$
appreciate your help
thank you

Aug 16, 2020 - 7:27:58 AM

2452 posts since 3/30/2008

$7500 for an odd & ugly Ludwig is a bit too much. I like Ludwig banjos & regularly play several models, but the rare "Chief" is sold mostly for it's art & novelty appeal. (It might even have the zinc top tension hoop ? )

Aug 16, 2020 - 8:21:08 AM

1920 posts since 1/4/2009

I’ve seen these for sale for a lot of money, I know they were very well made but I can’t believe they would sell for that much in today market. 4 string banjos are not widely played, Ludwig is not a top collected brand and the subject matter is less desirable in today’s society and considered exploitation by many. If you get a good deal this is probably something of value, but I doubt it would bring 7500 anymore.

Edited by - kyleb on 08/16/2020 08:21:24

Aug 16, 2020 - 9:32:54 AM
likes this



380 posts since 8/4/2006

thank you all. I don't expect this price

Aug 17, 2020 - 12:58:08 PM


New Zealand

11019 posts since 6/29/2003

Not to hijack the thread but a number of years ago a friend of mine who owns a second hand shop here had an old fella come into and said he had a banjo with an Indian chief head on the reso. As I know about the Ludwig Big Chief tenor was anxious to see it. We don't get these high end instruments here in NZ very often. The trail of this went cold for about a year and a half. Then it turned up at another chap's place. I actually knew him so arranged a time to come over. It turned out to NOT be a Ludwig but an English George Houghton and Son banjo Uke with a waterslide transfer of an Indian Chief's head. Quite unique as I had never seen one like that.

Aug 24, 2020 - 9:02:45 AM



380 posts since 8/4/2006

I am sorry to tell, that bad guys taken pictures from sales in the past and offer those banjo for cheap prices- to get money without sending a banjo
I going in this trap
was a very very bad expierience

Aug 24, 2020 - 1:38:24 PM

2452 posts since 3/30/2008

...A fascinating banjo, & a fascinating story. (Here's hoping things turn out well for you).

Sep 1, 2020 - 10:49:50 AM

718 posts since 1/30/2019

Here is the catalogue page for the big chief. It's a 1930 catalogue apparently. One internet inflation calculator says a 1930 dollar is worth 15 today. That makes the big chief equivalent to £6700 when new.
It's still pretty ugly......
I have other pages copied too.
Apparently the notorious crumbling tone ring flange set up is guaranteed for ever..... I'd love some one to try and claim. My Kingston has the bronze tone ring, and it's fine all over. Kingston retailed at 75 dollars in 1930, apparently equivalent to 1100 USD now. Hmmm.
There were 2 models below the Kingston.
Good luck with your chief!

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