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Clifford Essex Banjos from the 2000s any ideas on where they were made ?

Nov 26, 2022 - 12:58:17 PM
60 posts since 3/22/2011

Can anyone please give me some advice.

I am currently selling two of the 2000s Clifford Essex reissue Banjos ( tenor and 5 string ) but have been asked where they were made .

I was told that they were commissioned built by independent UK builders but unable to find any information to back this up.

They are really well made with great necks but there is very little information on them and the Clifford essex website nolonger works.



Thanks




 

Nov 26, 2022 - 11:31:55 PM

2625 posts since 2/4/2013

When these were in the auction, where I think you got them, I tried to find some details. I looked at the Clifford Essex website on the Internet Archive and I think this model was listed on one occasion with no details and then disappeared. All I found was one post on another forum with someone playing one but again no details. Perhaps they only made the two you have.

Nov 26, 2022 - 11:57:59 PM

2625 posts since 2/4/2013

When I say with no details there might have been a link but that page was not on the Internet Archive.

Nov 27, 2022 - 1:12:39 AM

1752 posts since 4/25/2007

To my eye the neck looks like one of those pacrim imports that used to sell on ebay. I don't know where Clem was getting the pots from but I believe they were UK made.

Nov 27, 2022 - 1:22:36 AM

1056 posts since 6/25/2006

They were owned by Dave Wade who sadly passed away - he had a strong link with the Clifford Essex company as he was a classic banjo enthusiast. Clem Vickery who also passed away recently re-started the Clifford Essex company and started making banjos with The Gambler in around 2010 and then The Weaver in 2012.  I know the pot and neck for The Weaver model was definitely made in the UK - they were advertised as made in England.  I believe the 5string and tenor banjo you have were a short-lived 'Sharpe' model - they had an American ironwood tonering I believe. 

Edited by - hobogal on 11/27/2022 01:34:38

Nov 27, 2022 - 1:42:15 AM

1752 posts since 4/25/2007

I remember Clem sent some block rim pots to a luthier friend of mine to try and clean up. They had certainly been made in the UK.

Nov 27, 2022 - 3:05:23 AM
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60 posts since 3/22/2011

Thanks for the comments ,I think they may have been built to order with these two being used to sell the instruments to shops / clients.

There is a reference on a forum they were made in the UK by their own luthiers ( Garry Silbert?).

I bought the instruments unaware that they had relaunched the brand in the 2000s. They did retail for around £1k - £1300 on the a couple of flyers I have seen.

There is a photo on the forum of what looks like the same instrument being played in a workshop by someone called rob.

Lots of interest but no takers at the moment ,

Thanks again for the help

Nov 27, 2022 - 3:33:28 AM

1752 posts since 4/25/2007

The neck certainly looks pacrim built to me someone maybe like Antonio Tsai or similar. The hardware also looks to have originated from that area. I remember having a conversation back then with Clem regarding the aforementioned pots and finding a suitable luthier.

Nov 27, 2022 - 7:47:36 AM

7365 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by mustar

Thanks for the comments ,I think they may have been built to order with these two being used to sell the instruments to shops / clients.

There is a reference on a forum they were made in the UK by their own luthiers ( Garry Silbert?).

I bought the instruments unaware that they had relaunched the brand in the 2000s. They did retail for around £1k - £1300 on the a couple of flyers I have seen.

There is a photo on the forum of what looks like the same instrument being played in a workshop by someone called rob.

Lots of interest but no takers at the moment ,

Thanks again for the help


You thought these were pre WW2 CE banjos?

Nov 27, 2022 - 9:08:55 AM

60 posts since 3/22/2011

Sorry what I meant I didn't realise they had relaunched the brand until the day I spotted them in the day. And bought them.

Nov 27, 2022 - 2:03:23 PM

7365 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Stephen John Prior

The neck certainly looks pacrim built to me someone maybe like Antonio Tsai or similar. The hardware also looks to have originated from that area. I remember having a conversation back then with Clem regarding the aforementioned pots and finding a suitable luthier.


This is exactly what I thought when I saw these up for sale,especially the heel carving.  There is almost no doubt that is where that neck came from, unless the maker decided to duplicate the carving style of Vietnamese made necks for some reason. 

Dec 1, 2022 - 2:04:41 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

16373 posts since 8/30/2006

I disagree. Here's a picture of one of the necks from Pacrim.

The carvings are done with a rotary tool.

Your heel carving is a little deeper with more detail.

"There is almost no doubt?" Some doubt. Because I have never seen one of those necks use a backstrap, too much detail for the cost of the neck, that's why the shallow heel carving.

Your banjo neck shows better forethought and execution. 


 

Edited by - Helix on 12/01/2022 02:08:56

Dec 1, 2022 - 6:17:27 AM
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7365 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

I disagree. Here's a picture of one of the necks from Pacrim.

The carvings are done with a rotary tool.

Your heel carving is a little deeper with more detail.

"There is almost no doubt?" Some doubt. Because I have never seen one of those necks use a backstrap, too much detail for the cost of the neck, that's why the shallow heel carving.

Your banjo neck shows better forethought and execution. 


Sigh...

Dec 1, 2022 - 3:45:59 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

16373 posts since 8/30/2006

Nice heels

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