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Jan 15, 2021 - 11:25:07 AM
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92 posts since 3/17/2010

Came across a Framus Contessa that I could not resist buying. I have bought and sold them before but this was the first one I've seen with a "shamrock" design. Anyone else seen this before?


Jan 15, 2021 - 11:49:20 AM

56658 posts since 12/14/2005

Never saw one, but the aluminum is SO thin, it would have been easy enough to take it off, lay it on a soft piece of wood, and SLAM a steel cookie cutter down, or clip the design with a tin snips.
And if that specific cookie cutter was not available commercially, I'm guessing anybody with a bit of skill, a couple pairs of pliers, and a grindstone could bend up something sharp and sturdy, out of stock steel.

Play as best you can, and if one of THESE shows up, do let us know!!

Jan 15, 2021 - 11:54:43 AM

92 posts since 3/17/2010

Though I do know how thin the metal generally is on the Framus design this metal is much more thicker and durable. That was another thing that caught my eye.

Jan 15, 2021 - 12:24:59 PM

1206 posts since 8/10/2010

Haven't come across one before but that is a way cool find!

Jan 15, 2021 - 2:37:16 PM

2527 posts since 3/30/2008

Framus is a decent, readily available, affordable banjo. Most likely this was modified by a proud Irish player.

Jan 15, 2021 - 4:44:04 PM
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92 posts since 3/17/2010

Doing research today I found this Framus Irish Tenor from 1962. You can read about it at the following link: german-vintage-guitar.com/en/r...odel-1962


Edited by - OdeOwner on 01/15/2021 16:46:04

Jan 15, 2021 - 7:49:07 PM

2527 posts since 3/30/2008

Have you looked at the back of the peghead for an embossed serial #, & a date ? It will tell you the month & year of production.

Jan 15, 2021 - 8:49:19 PM

11074 posts since 10/27/2006

Although clearly an inexpensive, Framus made banjo, they never sold a model named the Contessa.

Contessa was a Höhner brand. Framus was not the only maker of Contessa banjos. In the 1970s, Höhner was having them made in Japan, then Korea. 

Jan 15, 2021 - 9:02:34 PM

92 posts since 3/17/2010

WRONG. There are plenty of listings for a Framus Contessa banjo. Google it. Here is just one of them: reverb.com/item/6175582-framus...ing-banjo

Jan 15, 2021 - 11:39:55 PM

11074 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by OdeOwner

WRONG. There are plenty of listings for a Framus Contessa banjo. Google it. Here is just one of them: reverb.com/item/6175582-framus...ing-banjo


So what? It changes nothing I wrote. Since you apparently didn't understand the first time, let me reword it.

 

Contessa is a Höhner brand. Framus was one of the many OEM manufacturers.

I am absolutely correct about this. I wish these pages were clearer but they're from a scan of a 1969 Höhner catalog. Look familiar?

 

I am old enough to have worked in a music store that was a Höhner dealer. Not only do I remember these but also remember the mid-'70s Contessas made in Japan. Tjhis Contessa was made in Japan or Korea — in any case, it was imported by Höhner.

https://www.banjobuyer.com/banjo/54225

 

Class dismissed.

Edited by - mikehalloran on 01/15/2021 23:46:24

Jan 16, 2021 - 12:00:08 AM

11074 posts since 10/27/2006

Höfner banjos had Framus pots with Höfner necks.

Höfner made necks and bodies for many companies including Carvin through 1987 (afterwards, only the semi-hollow guitar).  Apparently, they didn't make banjo pots — only ones I've ever seen are Framus.

Jan 16, 2021 - 1:24:37 AM
Players Union Member

Emiel

Austria

9762 posts since 1/22/2003

It's indeed "Höfner", not "Hofner", but it is "Hohner" and not "Höhner"…!

Jan 16, 2021 - 8:40:27 AM

92 posts since 3/17/2010

Here is another Irish Tenor with the same shamrock design from Hopf in Germany, though I have yet to find another 5 string listed anywhere: grantsemporium.com/listing/843...nor-banjo


 

Jan 16, 2021 - 10:27:33 AM

92 posts since 3/17/2010

As for markings, the only thing I found is stamped on the back of the headstock stating : MADE IN W. GERMANY. As for the metal, I measured its thickness and it came out to a 16th of an inch which is much more than the tin designs on most Framus banjos.


Edited by - OdeOwner on 01/16/2021 10:29:45

Jan 16, 2021 - 1:55:29 PM

11074 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by OdeOwner

Here is another Irish Tenor with the same shamrock design from Hopf in Germany, though I have yet to find another 5 string listed anywhere: grantsemporium.com/listing/843...nor-banjo


Yep. Don't see many Hopf instruments in the US except in pawn shops near US military basses. I don't know they ever had a USA distributor.

Framus and Höfner made lots of parts and instruments for other companies. Not unlike Harmony, Kay and Gretsch in the US. 

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