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Ancient banjo with a tunneled 5th string - help me ID, please!

Jan 19, 2021 - 1:31:01 AM

Sam Alone


6 posts since 1/11/2021


I just recently got his banjo from a guy here in Norway who had no idea about its history. It has a wooden rim with an outer brass rim, a tunneled 5th string and no markings whatsoever.

Some banjo collector I talked to had no idea, but assumed it was a british product about 100 years old.

Please take a look at this video and see if you can help me.

Thanks in advance!

Jan 19, 2021 - 2:18:21 AM

3216 posts since 4/29/2012

It is a bit of a mystery (but I bet Steve Prior knows). I'd also say English purely on the basis of the tunneled 5th and the double screw dowel tensioner. The tailepiece is identical to the 'new old stock' one I bought in London in 1970 to get my first banjo going. Maybe a bit more than 100 years old based on the position dot at 9 rather than 10. But you should really get rid of that slab of a bridge and those steel strings. With nylon strings and a simple 2 foot bridge it would really sing.

Jan 19, 2021 - 3:17:40 AM

Sam Alone


6 posts since 1/11/2021

Thank you, Andrew. I'm sure it could do well to change the bridge and strings. Will look into that pretty soon.

Jan 19, 2021 - 3:58:37 AM

1545 posts since 4/25/2007

Sadly I can't help with an ID. The tailpiece probably German 60/70s. I also wondered if that cool old pot may be older than the neck !
Good advice from Andrew regarding the bridge and strings.

Jan 19, 2021 - 4:47:02 AM

56647 posts since 12/14/2005

Look out!
There's a Giant Baby right behind you! cheeky

Sounds SO good as is. Do agree that taking off that guitar bridge, replacing it with a banjo bridge,  and going to nylon strings may greatly improve the sound.


And, welcome to the HangOut.

You are no longer alone.

There are 121,488 other members, and 270 of them are in Norway.

Click here for 271 names of neighbors:

Jan 19, 2021 - 5:03:21 AM

Sam Alone


6 posts since 1/11/2021

Thanks Mike. Good to know I have some neighbours here!

I'm interested in knowing what a fair price about this piece may be?

Still hoping for an ID, though!

Jan 19, 2021 - 5:59:27 AM

5954 posts since 9/21/2007

Good clear photographs is the best way to get information.

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