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Dec 9, 2023 - 5:12:57 AM
541 posts since 3/9/2017

Hello. I am beginning to think about getting another banjo, and was thinking why not fretless. This has come up on ebay. It has lots of watchers and I might pass and just see what it goes for. However, can anyone advise on if that is an 11 or 12 inch pot. I really can't tell. Obviously I could ask the seller but as mentioned, not sure if I want to bid at all yet.
ebay.co.uk/itm/196123255292?mkcid

Dec 9, 2023 - 5:35:59 AM

61698 posts since 12/14/2005

You want a banjo, GET a banjo.

Head size shouldn't make THAT much difference.

The IMPORTANT thing is to have fun.

Here's someone you might contact. Seems to know about Temlett banjos:

https://glensbritishbanjocollection.weebly.com/w-temlett.html

Dec 9, 2023 - 5:50:01 AM

JSB88

UK

541 posts since 3/9/2017

Ha, no chance of me estimating the size of that one! Thing is I have two 11 inch pot, one wl and one cheap 'beginners', so I want something substantially different for my next and am thinking English 19/early 20 century fretless, and while I'm at it, might as well hang on for a 12 inch. I have infinite patience.

Dec 9, 2023 - 6:01:56 AM

1897 posts since 4/25/2007

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

Hello. I am beginning to think about getting another banjo, and was thinking why not fretless. This has come up on ebay. It has lots of watchers and I might pass and just see what it goes for. However, can anyone advise on if that is an 11 or 12 inch pot. I really can't tell. Obviously I could ask the seller but as mentioned, not sure if I want to bid at all yet.
ebay.co.uk/itm/196123255292?mkcid


Pretty looking Temlett. Ajax model. Although I'd be a bit concerned about the steel strings. Possibly why the 5th string tuner has broken ! The inside of the pot looks a bit odd to me maybe the original finish was removed at some point ?

Edited by - Stephen John Prior on 12/09/2023 06:03:06

Dec 9, 2023 - 6:25:50 AM
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61698 posts since 12/14/2005

An UNEDUCATED guesstimate:
FINGERBOARDS are pretty much the same size.
Measure the width where your banjos' necks meet the rim, then measure the picture, and plot that across the head.

You'll probably get it within an inch of perfect.

Dec 9, 2023 - 6:41:11 AM

1897 posts since 4/25/2007

I asked the seller it's approx. 11 inch.

Dec 9, 2023 - 6:46:50 AM
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Players Union Member

jduke

USA

1193 posts since 1/15/2009

It's an 11" pot - slightly out of round. If you scroll down far enough someone has asked and he give the measurements in cm, which means nothing to me, but an online calculator shows it to be 11.02 x 10.82.

It looks to be a nice banjo.

Dec 9, 2023 - 6:50:04 AM

JSB88

UK

541 posts since 3/9/2017

Ah, well maybe I'm too timid, or worried about giving false hope ;)
Thanks. Think I'll just monitor and see what it goes for. Going to wait for the spring and then seriously look. Willing to pay within reason for something nicely presented and ready to play, but think I will aim for English fretless 12 inch nylon strung.

Dec 9, 2023 - 2:43:28 PM

60 posts since 12/4/2014

I have essentially a near-identical one, W Temlett Ajax model #3652 (though mine seems to be a 5 + 1 banjo with a low string, which was set up as a 5 string and given a replica tailpiece and nut by a restorer in California; for example, mine has 6 inlay dots at the base of the fretboard whereas this one has 5). It is a fine banjo and I recommend you picking this one up if you can. Fretless is indeed a good time and this is both a higher-end model of the time, a good surviving example of said model, and a good fretless banjo in general. Echoing what others have said--if this falls into your hand, definitely take off the steel strings, find a more suitable replacement tailpiece than what's been slapped onto this one, and put on some nylons/nylgut, etc.

Dec 10, 2023 - 2:44:27 AM

1897 posts since 4/25/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Capybara

I have essentially a near-identical one, W Temlett Ajax model #3652 (though mine seems to be a 5 + 1 banjo with a low string, which was set up as a 5 string and given a replica tailpiece and nut by a restorer in California; for example, mine has 6 inlay dots at the base of the fretboard whereas this one has 5). It is a fine banjo and I recommend you picking this one up if you can. Fretless is indeed a good time and this is both a higher-end model of the time, a good surviving example of said model, and a good fretless banjo in general. Echoing what others have said--if this falls into your hand, definitely take off the steel strings, find a more suitable replacement tailpiece than what's been slapped onto this one, and put on some nylons/nylgut, etc.


Just for my interest Julian does your Temlett have the same light finish to the inside of the pot as the Ebay model ?

Dec 10, 2023 - 3:22:12 AM

249 posts since 6/20/2020

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

Ah, well maybe I'm too timid, or worried about giving false hope ;)
Thanks. Think I'll just monitor and see what it goes for. Going to wait for the spring and then seriously look. Willing to pay within reason for something nicely presented and ready to play, but think I will aim for English fretless 12 inch nylon strung.


That's a really nice and very achievable plan. As you're watching eBay I'm sure that you've noticed how the pricing there can vary wildly. This W. Temlett is offered at a low starting price that'll probably climb some, but that enables bidders to decide to pick up a reasonable bargain or pay no more than a vintage banjo's current value. More typical patterns can be thrown by transient fashion, and individual collectors with more money than sense, but these come and go, and prices tend to refind their sensible level that favours people who actually want to play these banjos.

An English 12" in original, playable condition should be yours without a long wait or too much difficulty. Dallas made some good quality 12" and 13" fretless models in the early to mid 1890's that pop up from time to time. UK auction houses may be a more productive search area than eBay giving you more choice and maybe less risk. Keep us posted how you get on.

Another direct route that is worth considering is posting a 'wanted' ad in BHO classifieds. Collectors are often more inclined to move banjos on as they are generally always looking for the next 'hit'. Whereas players are inclined to be more selective and specific.

Edited by - Pomeroy on 12/10/2023 03:37:33

Dec 10, 2023 - 6:20:49 AM

8085 posts since 9/21/2007

By period nomenclature, technically this banjo is not “fretless” but a “smooth arm”. It has “frets”, just not raised frets. The side dots were called “professional frets”.

Dec 10, 2023 - 10:01:24 AM

JSB88

UK

541 posts since 3/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Pomeroy
quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

Ah, well maybe I'm too timid, or worried about giving false hope ;)
Thanks. Think I'll just monitor and see what it goes for. Going to wait for the spring and then seriously look. Willing to pay within reason for something nicely presented and ready to play, but think I will aim for English fretless 12 inch nylon strung.


That's a really nice and very achievable plan. As you're watching eBay I'm sure that you've noticed how the pricing there can vary wildly. This W. Temlett is offered at a low starting price that'll probably climb some, but that enables bidders to decide to pick up a reasonable bargain or pay no more than a vintage banjo's current value. More typical patterns can be thrown by transient fashion, and individual collectors with more money than sense, but these come and go, and prices tend to refind their sensible level that favours people who actually want to play these banjos.

An English 12" in original, playable condition should be yours without a long wait or too much difficulty. Dallas made some good quality 12" and 13" fretless models in the early to mid 1890's that pop up from time to time. UK auction houses may be a more productive search area than eBay giving you more choice and maybe less risk. Keep us posted how you get on.

Another direct route that is worth considering is posting a 'wanted' ad in BHO classifieds. Collectors are often more inclined to move banjos on as they are generally always looking for the next 'hit'. Whereas players are inclined to be more selective and specific.

 


All good thoughts, ta. The trouble with auction houses is that the only ones that ever seem to get half decent banjos are miles from me, and I would want to inspect the instrument at a viewing first as it quite definitely is 'sold as seen'. 
I have always had a hankering for a Dallas banjo, with a neat pinstripe down the back of the neck. However when I come to start serious looking to buy, I won't hang out just for a particular maker. 
Thanks and thanks for all the responses. No doubt if I do go in for a new acquisition next year, it'll entail at least one post here :)

Dec 10, 2023 - 11:03:48 AM

60 posts since 12/4/2014

quote:
Originally posted by Stephen John Prior
quote:
Originally posted by Capybara

I have essentially a near-identical one, W Temlett Ajax model #3652 (though mine seems to be a 5 + 1 banjo with a low string, which was set up as a 5 string and given a replica tailpiece and nut by a restorer in California; for example, mine has 6 inlay dots at the base of the fretboard whereas this one has 5). It is a fine banjo and I recommend you picking this one up if you can. Fretless is indeed a good time and this is both a higher-end model of the time, a good surviving example of said model, and a good fretless banjo in general. Echoing what others have said--if this falls into your hand, definitely take off the steel strings, find a more suitable replacement tailpiece than what's been slapped onto this one, and put on some nylons/nylgut, etc.


Just for my interest Julian does your Temlett have the same light finish to the inside of the pot as the Ebay model ?


Hi Stephen-- yes, it does indeed have the same light finish in the inside of the spunover pot. I'll try to nab some pictures when I get home today!

Dec 11, 2023 - 12:53:51 AM

1897 posts since 4/25/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Capybara
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen John Prior
quote:
Originally posted by Capybara

I have essentially a near-identical one, W Temlett Ajax model #3652 (though mine seems to be a 5 + 1 banjo with a low string, which was set up as a 5 string and given a replica tailpiece and nut by a restorer in California; for example, mine has 6 inlay dots at the base of the fretboard whereas this one has 5). It is a fine banjo and I recommend you picking this one up if you can. Fretless is indeed a good time and this is both a higher-end model of the time, a good surviving example of said model, and a good fretless banjo in general. Echoing what others have said--if this falls into your hand, definitely take off the steel strings, find a more suitable replacement tailpiece than what's been slapped onto this one, and put on some nylons/nylgut, etc.


Just for my interest Julian does your Temlett have the same light finish to the inside of the pot as the Ebay model ?


Hi Stephen-- yes, it does indeed have the same light finish in the inside of the spunover pot. I'll try to nab some pictures when I get home today!


Some photos would be great Julian. Thankyou. 

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