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Sep 24, 2021 - 8:06:41 AM
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146 posts since 8/8/2009

I’m a bluegrass player who knows Gibsons….this one is out of my depth. Can anyone help identify period, maker etc?




 

Sep 24, 2021 - 8:40:39 AM
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1473 posts since 3/1/2012

Very cool old fretless banjo. No way to tell the maker. Likely early to mid 1870s.

Sep 24, 2021 - 12:31:08 PM

1621 posts since 2/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by IMBanjoJim

Very cool old fretless banjo. No way to tell the maker. Likely early to mid 1870s.


I'll agree, though I think it's probably not quite that old.  The neck is definitely home-made. Can't tell from the pictures, but the rim could be from a factory banjo.  Can we see some closeups from the outside, showing the hardware?

Sep 24, 2021 - 12:59:50 PM
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1788 posts since 1/13/2012

L9oks like a homemade neck on a cheap 1890-1900 rim. Common to see, as the original necks were often pretty fragile and didn't stand up to much rough treatment.

Sep 24, 2021 - 1:14:46 PM

eljimb0

USA

2018 posts since 7/24/2007
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That is a beauty! The work on that neck is some of the most elegant kitchen table engineering I have ever seen. I love that banjo!

Sep 24, 2021 - 1:35:48 PM

146 posts since 8/8/2009

More photos.

Sep 24, 2021 - 1:36:46 PM

146 posts since 8/8/2009

.




 

Sep 24, 2021 - 3:08:19 PM
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1621 posts since 2/9/2007

Seeing those, it could well be the original neck, and might even be pre-1880. If that's the case, it's a real standard-issue, basic-grade factory-made banjo, and the machine tuners and metal fingerboard are later homebrew mods, IMO done by a serious picker with some good ideas of how to improve that banjo's musical functionality.

Edited by - Dan Gellert on 09/24/2021 15:12:22

Sep 24, 2021 - 4:47:24 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14612 posts since 8/30/2006
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She hasn’t given up, why should we?
Even the head is intact
I like the conches, I know, what’s a conch?
Those eagle plates under the L shoes
Please restore and play

Sep 24, 2021 - 4:57:51 PM

146 posts since 8/8/2009

Always impressed by the knowledge available in this community. Thank you guys for shedding some light. Hopefully my friend who does not play decides to sell to someone who will see it through to a restoration and not some silly wall ornament novelty!

Be well my banjo people.


Rd

Sep 24, 2021 - 7:56:20 PM

146 posts since 8/8/2009

More




 

Sep 25, 2021 - 3:51:20 AM

1788 posts since 1/13/2012

Eagle brackets were available past 1900. The neck still looks homemade to me, and the rim still looks 1890s.

Sep 25, 2021 - 4:44:09 AM
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1541 posts since 5/19/2018

I’m with Andy on this. Newer, albeit old handmade neck on a basic level factory pot.

Given that, probably the oldest example I have ever seen of a metal plate added on a fingerboard to enhance playing.

Really a wonderful instrument. This should be minimally restored and played.

Sep 26, 2021 - 11:16:16 AM
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1473 posts since 3/1/2012

The Bruno & Son’s catalogs that are available as PDFs online, that are from the 1880s, show this image of a low end banjo with a metal band around the pot, and either shield or eagle brackets, for damned cheap!


 

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