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Jun 12, 2024 - 9:15:13 AM

Nikos-74

Taiwan

3 posts since 1/10/2010

Hello everyone,

I bought this anonymous banjo on the French Craigslist. It seems to have been customized, possibly multiple times. There is a mark of a former slanted fret at the tenth fret and circular marks indicating the positions of old markers on the neck, at certain fret locations. The tailpiece seems to be made of brass or copper. The armrest is DIY and made of aluminum. The back of the neck is triangular up to the 5th fret. Inside, "314" is engraved in the wood.

The box is made of some kind of cardboard, possibly custom-made by its first owner. Large letters from the material used to make it can be seen.

Is anyone able to make guesses about the origin or the age of this banjo? The person who sold it to me is originally from the UK. Perhaps that is a first clue?

Thank you and best regards.


Edited by - Nikos-74 on 06/12/2024 09:16:17

Jun 12, 2024 - 9:57:12 AM
likes this

4793 posts since 4/29/2012

I think it's by G P Matthew. The extra piece of wood grafted onto the perch pole may be covering a makers name and full serial number. Your description suggests that it may originally have been fretless. Difficult to say without full pictures.

Jun 12, 2024 - 11:55 AM

1988 posts since 4/25/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Nikos-74

Hello everyone,

I bought this anonymous banjo on the French Craigslist. It seems to have been customized, possibly multiple times. There is a mark of a former slanted fret at the tenth fret and circular marks indicating the positions of old markers on the neck, at certain fret locations. The tailpiece seems to be made of brass or copper. The armrest is DIY and made of aluminum. The back of the neck is triangular up to the 5th fret. Inside, "314" is engraved in the wood.

The box is made of some kind of cardboard, possibly custom-made by its first owner. Large letters from the material used to make it can be seen.

Is anyone able to make guesses about the origin or the age of this banjo? The person who sold it to me is originally from the UK. Perhaps that is a first clue?

Thank you and best regards.


I agree with Andrew on G. P. Matthew. Most likely converted to frets at some point. Try taking a small mirror and looking at the underside of the dowel stick you may find his stamp there.

Jun 12, 2024 - 1:38:54 PM

Nikos-74

Taiwan

3 posts since 1/10/2010

Wow! That was quick! A big thank you to you!

Indeed, here's what I found under the neck (see pict)

By the way, what characteristic tipped you off? The headstock? The mother-of-pearl inlay on each fret?

Do you happen to know where I could find some information about this manufacturer?

Also, does the tailpiece seem original to you?

A big thank you for your prompt help!




Edited by - Nikos-74 on 06/12/2024 13:41:30

Jun 12, 2024 - 2:07:41 PM
Players Union Member

Emiel

Austria

10451 posts since 1/22/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Nikos-74


Do you happen to know where I could find some information about this manufacturer?
 


Here: https://www.vintagebanjomaker.com/Matthew

Jun 13, 2024 - 12:44:39 AM

1988 posts since 4/25/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Nikos-74

Wow! That was quick! A big thank you to you!

Indeed, here's what I found under the neck (see pict)

By the way, what characteristic tipped you off? The headstock? The mother-of-pearl inlay on each fret?

Do you happen to know where I could find some information about this manufacturer?

Also, does the tailpiece seem original to you?

A big thank you for your prompt help!


https://www.banjohangout.org/group/georgepmatthewresearchgroup  

There is a Matthew research group here on the BHO. It might be worth your while checking it out for more information. The tailpiece is a later addition. Glad we were of help. 

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