Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

741
Banjo Lovers Online


Jan 25, 2021 - 1:19:40 PM
like this
1022 posts since 12/8/2006

Just dug it out of the pile. I know it's a cheapy, but I like the hardware and the 'cut' for the 5th string. Marked on the dowel stick and rim is "XIII". I'm just interested.




 

Jan 25, 2021 - 1:45:05 PM

240 posts since 10/8/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Shop the Folk

Just dug it out of the pile. I know it's a cheapy, but I like the hardware and the 'cut' for the 5th string. Marked on the dowel stick and rim is "XIII". I'm just interested.


Looks very Buckbeeish! The hardware makes me think probably towards their end - 1895ish. They went out of business I think in 1897.

Jan 25, 2021 - 7:55:51 PM
like this

1022 posts since 12/8/2006

Did Buckbee make ALL the older banjos?

Jan 26, 2021 - 12:57:20 AM
likes this

rcc56

USA

3327 posts since 2/20/2016

No, but they made a lot. And they probably do get credit for banjos that they didn't make, at least some of the time.

Jan 26, 2021 - 2:52:49 AM

1545 posts since 4/25/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Shop the Folk

Just dug it out of the pile. I know it's a cheapy, but I like the hardware and the 'cut' for the 5th string. Marked on the dowel stick and rim is "XIII". I'm just interested.


I agree Paul cool unusual hardware. The numerals are just for assembly purposes.

Jan 26, 2021 - 5:13:57 AM
likes this

2043 posts since 1/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Shop the Folk

Did Buckbee make ALL the older banjos?


I've heard they number in the hundreds of thousands. 

Jan 26, 2021 - 5:37:14 AM
likes this

5960 posts since 9/21/2007

Buckbee sold banjos in various levels of finish. They also sold parts. We have an account of people buying unfinished banjos and decorating them to make them seem more valuable. We also have an account of people finishing them to counterfeit Clarke banjos.

If the rim, hardware, and neck all came from Buckbee, but you finished it and put your name on it, who built the banjo?

I would say that Buckbee built most of the low end or private label banjos from just after the American Civil War to 1897. Also many of the better grade private label banjos (like those offered by various members of the Dobson family).

Jan 27, 2021 - 2:54:33 AM
likes this

1604 posts since 12/26/2007

A few years ago I did a display on Buckbee . FWIW ........ facebook.com/media/set/?vanity...471924983

Many of Buckbee's banjos had black paint in the interior of the pot, like the OP banjo. I read somewhere that someone (wouldn't be surprised if is was Stewart) back in the day alleged that Buckbee used the black paint to cover up inferior wood and inferior construction.

Jan 28, 2021 - 1:43:12 PM

208 posts since 4/17/2015

Which the faux rosewood graining (on the visible rim interiors) didn't?

Jan 28, 2021 - 7:16:11 PM

5960 posts since 9/21/2007

It was Albert Baur (but it is fun to blame Stewart for stuff). You can read the whole story in his second letter (attached below).

When I add page sized photos they tend to get fuzzy, here is the whole issue...

https://www.digitalguitararchive.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Stewart-46.pdf




Edited by - Joel Hooks on 01/28/2021 19:18:32

Jan 28, 2021 - 8:03:15 PM

56664 posts since 12/14/2005

That's the trouble with having a banjo with no provenance.

For all we KNOW, the XIII MIGHT mean it could have once belonged to ROYALTY!


Jan 29, 2021 - 1:59:04 AM

1604 posts since 12/26/2007

Hey Joel - tnx for the reality check on my gratuitous, critical comment about SSS ;)

Once upon a time I thought about doing my annual festival display at my booth about open-back banjos with black-painted pots. I think I compiled & posted a bunch of images somewhere..... will post a link here if I find the photos. Most of the banjos appeared to have been Buckbee-made.... one was a Cole Eclipse 4000, one was a "Souza's Make" (could have been made by Buckbee, but some of the construction details resemble Cole).

Jan 29, 2021 - 6:46:05 AM
likes this

5960 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Jarvie

Which the faux rosewood graining (on the visible rim interiors) didn't?


I think the difference is that SSS' fake rosewood is pretty convincing and well done (most of the time).  I've seen major retailers of old banjos fooled by it in their listings. 

With SSS I believe it was more to dress up the banjo and I personally like the detail.  I have a F&C with a plain maple rim and it is pretty boring.  My Imperial Banjeaurine has a fancy birdseye maple rim that was just stained dark, but the figure shows clearly. 

I have also played a late Thoroughbred with a very pretty snakewood rim.

So, the black paint was to cover up and hide, rosewood paint was to make it look nicer.  

Jan 29, 2021 - 7:41:12 AM
likes this

8184 posts since 8/28/2013

The practice of hiding rim flaws with cheap paint jobs was later used by Bacon & Day to cover the bad wood used in their Silver Bell banjo rims. The only difference was that they chose silver paint, rather than black. wink

Jan 29, 2021 - 9:15:10 AM
likes this

1693 posts since 1/13/2012

I don't think its accurate to say that black paint is an indicator that flaws were being hidden. Much of the time, it seems it was an aesthetic choice. All of Cole's higher-end banjos have black finished rims... the student level Coles are the ones with transparent finish. Many high level Fairbanks banjos have black-finished rims as well, along with Luscomb, Gatcomb, Schall, Lyon & Healy, and others.

This may have been influenced by the perception of ebony and blackwood as exotic and expensive materials.

Jan 31, 2021 - 3:35:30 PM
likes this

253 posts since 8/11/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks
quote:
Originally posted by Jarvie

Which the faux rosewood graining (on the visible rim interiors) didn't?


I think the difference is that SSS' fake rosewood is pretty convincing and well done (most of the time).  I've seen major retailers of old banjos fooled by it in their listings. 

With SSS I believe it was more to dress up the banjo and I personally like the detail.  I have a F&C with a plain maple rim and it is pretty boring.  My Imperial Banjeaurine has a fancy birdseye maple rim that was just stained dark, but the figure shows clearly. 

I have also played a late Thoroughbred with a very pretty snakewood rim.

So, the black paint was to cover up and hide, rosewood paint was to make it look nicer.  


Seconding what Mr. Hooks says here about faux rosewood painting of rims. Many fine pieces of antique furniture were also painted to emulate the look of rosewood. I think that, at the time, it was appreciated--not used to hide anything.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.21875