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Mar 25, 2023 - 11:44:01 AM
2 posts since 3/25/2023

Hi there all.
Can anyone help with any info regarding this instrument please. What it as?, age?. Anything?.
It was given to me by a friend but I've no idea anything about it, I play guitar only.
Thanks in anticipation.

Mar 25, 2023 - 11:58:11 AM

1303 posts since 1/30/2019

Hi @Chashove, it's a zither banjo, made by Abbott.
Abbott is a well regarded maker.
Zither banjos were popular in the UK in the early 1900s. They often have 6 tuners like yours, but were strung with 5 strings.
Unfortunately they are not really very popular or valuable now, and even one made by a good maker will sell for less than £100, and more often than not less than half that.
It would play fine, and might be nice to learn on but has a very small head (the "drum" part) so the sound they make can be a little thin.
You can buy sets of "zither banjo" strings, but a light guage set of ordinary banjo strings would be ok too.
They usually need a low bridge.
Not sure what else to say except have fun with it!

Mar 25, 2023 - 11:59:24 AM

1503 posts since 1/9/2012

It's a zither banjo, popular in Britain, primarily between the Wars. These days they don't get the respect they deserve and sell for rather less than they should -- a boon for buyers, bummer for sellers. For J. Abbott, see  The tunneled 5th is standard with that genre, as is the use of six tuners for only five strings.  Many were fancier in terms of woodwork, but that is largely uncorrelated with surviving playability and sound quality.

Mar 26, 2023 - 3:13:08 AM

2 posts since 3/25/2023

Thanks a million Andy & David. Great info. Not really wanting to learn banjo, I'd rather someone have it who WAS interested otherwise I could just have it as a ornament though I would restring it in respect to the instrument
and Mr J Abbott. Thanks again & keep happy & healthy.

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