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Jun 3, 2023 - 11:27:22 AM
1735 posts since 12/26/2007

I came across a photo of a Cubley banjo in Jim Jacquet's book, "Collecting Banjos". His banjo has some unique hardware.

I recently bought a suspected Buckbee that has identical hooks & nuts, but no maker's marks, and which otherwise resembles Buckbee.

Do you recognize these hooks & nuts ? Do you think the banjo at the link below may be by Cubley? I had one other Cubley that had a thin metal rod, stamped Cubley, in place of a wooden dowel. The metal dowel Cubley did not have the unique hooks & nuts.

Link to more pics of banjo:


Jun 3, 2023 - 2:18:40 PM

10526 posts since 8/28/2013

I am not sure about the hooks and nuts, but those "Eagle shoes" appeared in parts catalogs way back then, and may not be original to the banjo.

Jun 3, 2023 - 5:26:19 PM
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8905 posts since 11/28/2003

That hook looks like the ones that were on an old Cubley I once had.

Edited by - jbalch on 06/03/2023 17:28:40

Jun 6, 2023 - 9:57:41 AM
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177 posts since 5/30/2010

I think those nuts were specific to Cubley, and it would use the same tool to tighten their specific tuners as you can see on the photo above.

Jun 7, 2023 - 4:58:12 AM

1968 posts since 1/13/2012

I have seen those nuts on many non-Cubley banjos. I'm not sure whether Cubley made his own, and others copied them, or whether he was buying hardware from a supplier.

Jun 7, 2023 - 2:14:04 PM

1061 posts since 3/17/2007

It was ten years ago that I broached the subject of Cubley banjos and asked for someone much more knowledgeable to weigh in. A group was started but the Google results look pretty much the same today. There were some very elegant banjos with distinctive marquetry which were held up as the standard. And that may be true, but I had accumulated five banjos I thought were Cubleys that looked pretty ordinary. They are all simple paddleheads but with the Cubley screw brackets and unique tailpiece and a distinctive, elegant 5th-string neck cut that I thought might be diagnostic.
It is, of course possible that Cubley-designed parts were used by others - or just imitated, but I didn't know. I have since found pix of a few similar simple "Cubley" banjos like mine. Are these genuine Cubleys - or just lookalikes? Rip-offs or homages?
Here are 2 pix of the Fancy Cubleys for reference.
And here are 2 pix of simple "Cubleys."
I could only find 3 of my 5 "Cubleys" this morning so here are some closeups. The three items I consider to point to Cubley are the tailpiece (of which only 2 of mine still had [they are evidently rather fragile]), the screw brackets, and the sexy cut behind the 5th peg.
Shown are a 24-bracket banjo (of which several were missing so I reduced the number in half), an 8-bracket, and a 4-bracket! banjo.

Jun 7, 2023 - 4:11:53 PM

1735 posts since 12/26/2007

Hey cbcarlisle -- thanks for commenting. I see that, of your suspected Cubley paddleheads, all had the rounded (or "rocker") top except the 24-bracket banjo.

Some additional, unverified info on Cubley:

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