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Jan 27, 2021 - 1:48 PM
5 posts since 2/26/2015

I've been scouring the internet trying to find possible pricing information on my Banjo. It was my Father's banjo. We were originally from Plainfield NJ where Fred Van Eps made his banjos. He bought it in the 20's. He told me it was used in Vaudeville .  I've had it repaired twice. I believe it originally had a hole in the center. That was before my time. Any information would be appreciated.

Edited by - Lynne on 01/27/2021 16:41:43

Jan 27, 2021 - 3:32:43 PM

5954 posts since 9/21/2007

You’ll have to post photos. Well lit and in focus. Take the banjo out of the case.

Full front, back, heel, peghead, back of peghead, tailpiece, inside rim, markings, hardware, and anything interesting.

There was a LOT of variation in what FVE built. Also measure the head size.

Sadly it is a tenor. A 5 string would, depending on the version, be worth $500 to $2k. But that is all in that extra string.

Tenor banjos, not so much.

Jan 27, 2021 - 4:24:07 PM

303 posts since 12/7/2017

Depends, some Van Eps are really good with excellent craftsmanship. I own a Van Eps Recording (never could find help for dating) which is one of my favorite tenors, can easily compete with Vega for example.

Jan 29, 2021 - 9:11:08 AM
like this

5 posts since 2/26/2015

Thanks for the help. I think I decided to keep it. Who knows, maybe it will be in the family for another 100 years.

Jan 29, 2021 - 10:03:07 AM

5954 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Plainfieldboy

Thanks for the help. I think I decided to keep it. Who knows, maybe it will be in the family for another 100 years.


I would still love to see photos if you are willing to share.  I am a HUGE FVE fan. 

Jan 29, 2021 - 10:21:28 AM

5 posts since 2/26/2015

These are some old ones. I took some new ones and I'll see if I can upload them.


Jan 29, 2021 - 10:40:19 AM

5954 posts since 9/21/2007

Nice! This is a pretty early one. I can't tell if it is wood rimed or clad rimmed.

On mine I used an hobby razor knife to cut the hole in a plastic head. I think I used my shop vac hose end for the size.

Jan 29, 2021 - 10:55:12 AM

5 posts since 2/26/2015

I have no idea what that means. I have new pictures but I can't seem to load them on the site. I'll keep trying.

Jan 29, 2021 - 11:04:42 AM

5 posts since 2/26/2015

Here are 4 more new ones


Jan 29, 2021 - 11:06:28 AM

5954 posts since 9/21/2007

FVE used two different methods to make rims. The first was "clad" which is a wood rim clad or spun over with German silver metal. The second style was all wood laminate (like plywood).

Your banjo has a torn head. If you want to replace it, you can use a plastic head of the correct size but it will need a hole cut in it. The Van Eps Recording Banjo used the aluminum resonator bowl to project the sound forward through a hole cut in the head.
 

Jan 29, 2021 - 11:09:33 AM

5954 posts since 9/21/2007

Thanks, so it is a wood rim. I have a 5 string like this one.

The tailpiece and armrest on yours have been replaced with non original parts. These did not have armrests.

Jan 29, 2021 - 5:06:15 PM

2040 posts since 1/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Plainfieldboy

Thanks for the help. I think I decided to keep it. Who knows, maybe it will be in the family for another 100 years.


In 100 Years folks might be playing tenor banjo again too ;-)

Jan 30, 2021 - 5:10:16 AM

4855 posts since 3/22/2008

Jan 30, 2021 - 5:12:07 AM

4855 posts since 3/22/2008

Chicago Tribune Nov. 28, 1921.


Jan 30, 2021 - 5:48:57 AM

4855 posts since 3/22/2008

Just for fun - Plainfield, N.J. the hometown of the Van Eps Recording Banjo back in the day.


Jan 30, 2021 - 7:07:44 AM

342 posts since 6/26/2011

Dan, thanks for posting pictures of your banjo, I love to ogle a nice instrument!
John and Joel, thanks for the historical resources, Plainfield looked like a lovely little town. You just wish you could go back and witness these places don't you?
All the best guys, Bill.

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