Hello All, A friend asked me if i could restore an old banjo for him. Before I start to do anything, we felt it wise to first find out what it is. I would not want to destroy the value if it turns out to be rare or collectible.

 

the diameter is 11 1/4" and the neck  measures 18" from the rim to the nut. There is no residue to indicate that there was a fingerboard attached and there are no wear marks either? the nut is wood and appears to have been slotted with a carving tool.

 

I have image searched every search engine and only found 1 picture of the eagle brackets. Those were said to be reproductions of an 1890's design.

 

If anyone can recognize this, I would be interested to find out more about it. I would also be interested if anyone has any suggestions on other references sites available?

 

Thanks one and all, DonnieC

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I cant tell you much specifically, except that it certainly looks like a pre-war or even roughly turn of the century specimin and it certainly would be worth more research before proceding.

Of note, is that it is an open back and fretless, and the head appears to be a skin. Unless it is someones attempt at a reproduction those clues alone would place it very much pre-mid century. I would be curious as to the neck reinforcement area. Is it a dowel rod? Could you post a picture of that area if possible?

Very cool and interesting either way, and I would suggest the idea of a minimal restoration to make it playable might be the best route! But be aware that only a "certain" banjer who is interested in an old time music style may be "into" an old time fretless banjo. (I would be, but most seem interested in the more "modern" sound and music.)

Thanks for sharing!

Mark

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