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Apr 2, 2024 - 6:49:38 PM
23 posts since 4/1/2024

Hello- this is related to my other posts (but with pictures) seeking information on Defiance banjos and/or possible banjo attachment inventor/ banjo maker )?) EJ Babbitt (1866-1944). Not sure if this is an early Joe (Joseph Toledano) Daniels tenor banjo prior to his Defiance patents or one of the several he personally made special for family members. Other than the Defiance badge, I can’t find any other markings, numbers, or written identifiers. The drumskin is a Roger’s Tanneries Made in USA Soo Brand; I think the halfskin was replaced pre-1939ish, due to the branding. I received information from another source that was NOT able to positively identify the manufacturer that other possibilities are Edwin J (EJ) Babbitt; musician, teacher/ instructor, inventor (banjo attachment and fishing lure)- born in Vermont, moved to Defiance, OH then to Holland and Petoskey, MI before moving to L.A., CA to die there. I was told it has similarities to an Orpheum as well. Any knowledge from the experts here would be appreciated.

Apr 2, 2024 - 7:09:32 PM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

I’m having trouble uploading pictures.


Apr 2, 2024 - 7:13:08 PM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

I think one uploaded.




Apr 2, 2024 - 7:41:57 PM
like this

5622 posts since 5/29/2011

I am not familiar with E J Babbitt but I do see more than a passing resemblance to the Orpheum banjos of Wm. Lange. Maybe there was a connection somewhere?
The peghead shape and the first fret inlay are pure Wm. Lange. The heel carving and the marquetry around the rim also look like Lange-inspired designs.

Apr 2, 2024 - 8:11:03 PM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

Thanks! Early Lange or more likely piece-mealed with some of his parts? I read somewhere that Joe Daniels used other parts to fashion an instrument in his early days…not sure if that’s fact or fiction.

Apr 3, 2024 - 4:01:20 AM

3520 posts since 4/7/2010

I think it looks more like a product made by Gaetano Francesco “Thomas”Puntolillo.  He mostly made banjos under the Majestic trade name, but there are maybe a dozen other brand names he made banjos for. Post a picture of the back side of the banjo. That might have a few telltale signs of the actual manufacturer.

Bob Smakula
smakulafrettedinstruments.com

Edited by - Bob Smakula on 04/03/2024 04:03:17

Apr 3, 2024 - 5:37:50 AM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

6256 posts since 10/12/2009

If your tailpiece still had the lid / cover attached to it, the tailpiece itself would be worth $100.00 - $125.00 


 

Apr 3, 2024 - 7:27:40 AM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

Apr 3, 2024 - 7:29:25 AM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

I’m not to savvy on posting the pics…


Apr 3, 2024 - 7:31:31 AM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

Couple more?


Apr 3, 2024 - 8:26:41 AM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

Another


Apr 3, 2024 - 8:30:24 AM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

RioStat I don’t think there was a back cover. Another member just messaged me and said no other maker used that model name…

Apr 3, 2024 - 1:17:43 PM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

Culloden Another fella emailed me and believes it to be a 1922-23 Wm Lange…..? He said it’s likely more rare in that the pot looks like it belongs to a 5 string but it’s on a 4 string neck. Because a lot of this is new to me, I don’t understand the decals/ painting of Defiance, the crossed flags, and crossed anchors on the headstock, or an origin/ maker of the tailpiece….Custom made/ special order banjo? I also just found earlier today the wooden bridge that says Grover on the side and 9/16 printed on one of the bottom legs.

Apr 3, 2024 - 2:30:13 PM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

6256 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by rajalat

RioStat I don’t think there was a back cover. Another member just messaged me and said no other maker used that model name…


What model name ?

Apr 3, 2024 - 2:45:24 PM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

RioStat Good question. Other than Defiance on the headstock and a bridge that says/ has “Grover 9/16”, no other markings or anything definitive on who the maker is.

Apr 3, 2024 - 2:54:52 PM
likes this

61884 posts since 12/14/2005

"I did NOT make the banjo, nor the bridge!"

-Grover-

Apr 3, 2024 - 3:28:43 PM

DSmoke

USA

1426 posts since 11/30/2015

Puntolillo had a working relationship with Lange and used many of his parts. It's also commonly thought that Lange built rims and necks for him. With the name "Defiance" I wonder if this came from the Puntolillo factory by a defiant worker. Typically Puntolillo banjos would have a round metal dowel rod, but I believe there have been a few with a square wooden dowel, maybe early ones. Tagging beezaboy so he sees this. Also, the purfling on the OP's banjo that looks like Puntolillo can be found on the early maple Paramount B banjos.

Edited by - DSmoke on 04/03/2024 15:31:18

Apr 3, 2024 - 7:50:26 PM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

DSmoke Thank you!

I think Bob Smakula had the same thought/ opinion.

If more pictures are needed, or any other information on the instrument, let me know.

Thank you again!

Apr 5, 2024 - 6:51:23 AM

1941 posts since 4/25/2007

Your banjo is certainly nothing like the "Defiance" banjos made by Joe Daniels which were quite unique. I would say your banjo is American made. I think I may have also seen banjo mandolins with a Defiance inlay. Looks Wm. Lange like to me but my interest is mostly English made banjos.

Apr 5, 2024 - 6:55:49 AM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

Culloden DSmoke Bob Smakula

Sorry to keep dragging this out, but is there a way for me to definitively identify/ tell if it’s a Wm Lange, Rettberg & Lange, Puntolillo, or Majestic brand and the year made?

Apr 5, 2024 - 6:59:53 AM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

Apr 5, 2024 - 7:35:36 AM
likes this

1941 posts since 4/25/2007

quote:
Originally posted by rajalat

Stephen John Prior Thanks!


I think here may well be some previous posts here on the hangout referring to Defiance banjo mandolins as rebadged Opheums. 

Apr 5, 2024 - 7:46:53 AM

3520 posts since 4/7/2010

quote:
Originally posted by rajalat

Culloden DSmoke Bob Smakula

Sorry to keep dragging this out, but is there a way for me to definitively identify/ tell if it’s a Wm Lange, Rettberg & Lange, Puntolillo, or Majestic brand and the year made?


No, there isn't.

I  will add one more maker to the mix. The inlay used on your Defiance banjo is likely from the same inlay supplier that provided product to Yosco. Another New York City banjo maker from that era. Unlikely, but still possible that Yosco had a hand in the manufacturing of the Defiance.

Bob Smakula

smakulafrettedinstruments.com

Apr 5, 2024 - 7:51:41 AM

rajalat

USA

23 posts since 4/1/2024

Bob Smakula Ok, thanks for all your information. I appreciate it.

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