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S. S. Stewart S& B Monogram The Amateur Grade 2 5 String Banjo , c. 1905
S. S. Stewart S& B Monogram The Amateur Grade 2 Model 5 String Banjo, c. 1905, made in Philadelphia, PA, serial # 52341, natural finish, spunover rim, cherrywood neck with ebony fingerboard.
Overall length is 36 1/4 in. (92.1 cm.), 11 in. (27.9 cm.) diameter head, and 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 27 in. (686 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/16 in. (30 mm.). This is a nice 100+ year old "knock around" openback banjo, amazingly original and well preserved for its age. The Stewart & Bauer Monogram brand was in use shortly after Stewart himself passed away, and this banjo dates to the very early 20th century. It is a nicely made, good quality instrument, intended-as it is labelled-for amateur and student players. S&B instruments from this period are not as common as older Stewarts, but are still made to the same standard. This one has a celluloid plaque on the back of the headstock "Made expressly for F. Droop & Son Washington DC".
The spunover rim is in excellent shape-the plating is still quite shiny with some small corroded spots. The hardware remains all original except a few hooks, nuts and shoes but all are period. The tailpiece and tuners remain original as well. The neck finish is clean overall, with not much finish wear. There is a small inexplicable filled hole on the back behind the 17th fret where perhaps a strap button was mounted, and a small chip off one of the points on the headstock face. The neck has a slight backbow but the banjo plays well as a steel-string, which is problematic with most older Stewarts. Set up with an older skin head, a nice sounding old instrument that has not seen a lot of use over more than a century. Excellent - Condition.
Item # 8483
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