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Apr 15, 2024 - 9:55:50 AM
78 posts since 12/30/2017

My friend gave me this banjo. It was his great grandfather's. Looks like a nice Gibson copy but I don't know anything about this make. Nice gold plating and good woodwork. I'd like to restring it and learn to play it. My chance to lean some Dixieland perhaps...but I expect some challenges coming from bluegrass and finger picks:) Any advice on how I should clean her up appreciated...I don't want to damage her. Thanks in advance!

Apr 15, 2024 - 11:11:36 AM
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23253 posts since 7/6/2005

EPihone Beltone Artist 1930's. Epiphone made banjos similar to Gibson Mastertones. Epiphone was a rival to Gibson and the banjos were often preferred by big-time performers. Whether Gibson copied Epi, or Epi copied Gibson, I don't know... Gibson had marketing and brand power and Epi, soon fell in financial difficulties, eventually the brand would be acquired by Gibson. Epihpone would eventually be used as the basis for Guild guitars. Current Epiphone brands are the Gibson budget line, imported,

  Value $500 and up depending on condition. Limited market vs. a 5-string. It would be a good project to convert to a 5-string. Do not use any abrasive polish on the gold-plating.It canoe damaged. Use a microfiber cloth and Windex to clean it.

Edited by - beegee on 04/15/2024 11:30:52

Apr 15, 2024 - 12:33:35 PM
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5588 posts since 3/22/2008

Beegee identified the manufacturer of your tenor banjo. I thought you might be interested in how it is branded "Beltone". The "Beltone" brand was owned by musical instrument jobber, Perlberg & Halpin, 890 Broadway, New York City beginning 1922 (attached). The firm had been in business since about 1917. Perlberg & Halpin did not manufacture instruments. It purchased its wares from existing manufacturers and sold them to retail sales companies. In your case, P&H contracted with and purchased your banjo from Epiphone. I'm guessing that your banjo was built ca. 1926+. It was manufactured by Epiphone (House of Stathopoulo, Inc. or Epiphone Banjo Corp if made in late 1927) at its factory 35 Wilbur Ave., Long Island City (Queens). Epiphone was a well respected banjo manufacturer and built quality instruments from its affordable line up to its artist line of Epiphone Recording banjos. Your friend gave you a very nice banjo!

Apr 15, 2024 - 5:10:30 PM



3002 posts since 8/30/2012

Interesting flange design with the collar that goes down the side of the rim.

Apr 15, 2024 - 6:54:20 PM



1434 posts since 11/30/2015

I have a Beltone Artist just like this one. Please don't convert it to a 5 string. If this is for sale I am interested.

Apr 16, 2024 - 7:47:58 AM



78 posts since 12/30/2017

Thanks all. I have my fill of 5-strings so I plan to keep it as is. Some of the frets have some pretty deep pits so I'll look into re-fretting. There is a good local shop I'll talk to about that. BHO is great!

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