I just bought a beautiful Wildwood. It looks old-ish. It has a block rim and tuba tone ring. Is there anyway to date it? Is it possible to contact the manufacturer?
Thanks in advance!
Virgin Islands (U.S.)
Does it have any serial numbers?
No serial numbers or labels
Before he retired, Mark Platin (Wildwood Banjo Co. owner) told me that not having serial numbers on the banjos he made was not one of his best business decisions. Without a receipt from the original dealer that sold the banjo, there is no way to pinpoint the year of manufacture.
When I got my Paragon, I called Mark to get some information. The seller I got it from lived in Canada, and I was pretty sure he/she wasn't the first owner. Mine is all rosewood, so probably not common. His best guess/recollection was that the original owner was from Hawaii (!) as I recall. So I'm not sure if he kept detailed records of who he sold banjos to or vendors that sold his banjos. No serial number on mine. Congratulations -- Wildwood is an awesome banjo.
Congratulations on your purchase, Peter. Wildwoods really are nice banjos. I've had my Minstrel since about 1986, and it's been a real workhouse. Mark's workmanship is impeccable.
1970s to a few years ago is the best guess anyone can make based on your description.
If we see pictures including the tuners, we might be able to narrow it down to a 20 year period or so. Aslso, closeups of the neck inlay craftsmanship (or lack of) might be of some help.
These are great sounding and playing banjos but there was a period when whomever they sent the inlay work to produced results that are best viewed from afar.
'pb-3 8662-23' 1 hr
'name that tune' 1 hr
'Resonator and Flange' 3 hrs