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Pony Banjo (unlabelled) , c. 1890
Pony Banjo (unlabelled), c. 1890, probably New York City, natural finish, laminated maple rim with rosewood veneer, mahogany neck with ebonized fingerboard.
This is a lovely if unpretentious small-rim banjo from the late 1880s to early 1890s, typical of its era but much better preserved than many. The rim is a single lapped piece of wood with a re-inforced top edge, veneered with rosewood. The neck is typical period pattern with an interesting (if slightly asymmetrical) peaked headstock shape and plain dot inlay. There are no maker's marks, but the instrument is similar in pattern to many typical New York-made banjos of the period. This is a nice little player, relatively rare in this size and a cool period piece.
Overall length is 28 in. (71.1 cm.), 7 7/8 in. (20 cm.) diameter head, and 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 20 in. (508 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/4 in. (32 mm.).
This banjo has some general wear overall, but considering its age is very nicely preserved. Most of the hardware is original, with a later repro No-Knot tailpiece, newer fifth string button, and a single replaced (close but not perfect) hook and nut. The construction is a little primitive, but the instrument is a serviceable player, suitable for tuning to taste somewhat above the standard five-string range with either steel or nylon/gut srtrings. Very Good + Condition.
Item # 6353
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