I have a 5 string AC Fairbanks Whyte Laydie #7 that dates from 1902. It has the electric tone ring and bracket band BUT it is bolted through the pot. Is this common for the older WL's? The pot is stamped 21340, and the neck is stamped 21339. They both look all original, but this detail about the pot is curious. Or, I need to be educated. Any thoughts?
Edited by - G Meyer on 10/03/2023 20:58:29
There should not be bolts going through the wood rim on a Whyte Laydie.
Post some pictures. It will give us a better sense of what is going on.
From my understanding, the scalloped tone ring was first used in the Electric model. When Vega introduced the Whyte Laydie they used the same ring. The Whyte Laydie was a higher grade banjo with a bracket band whereas the Electric model had the traditional bolts through the rim. The Whyte Laydie got its name because previous Vega banjos were stained and the Whyte Laydie was finished in its natural maple color.
The rim-stick number is 21339 rather than 21399.
The bracket shoes look like later styles - perhaps fatter than the early WL shoes. I'd guess extensive modification later in the banjo's life. It does seem to have the fancy purfling on the rim cap but the photos are not conclusive. There are a fair number of mismatched serial numbered banjos in my database - one digit off means it's probably original ( perhaps indicative of some damage and replacement during
PS I'd love to have exact rim size and scale length for my database.
A 28" scale neck on that rim size would be unusual, but perhaps someone ordered it that way.
The bolts through the rim are probably an owner addition. They don't match the hardware that Fairbanks/Vega would have been using at the time.
Bet it sounds absolutely stunning.
Interesting. Looks like original Cobra hooks shoes and closed end nuts to me. The added veneers at the heel cap, not normally seen on the #7s, may indicate a buyers special request?.. I like to see these outside the norm examples. I’d love to see it up close.
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