Good morning everyone. I hope you are all doing well.
Carl, et. al.
Here's what I said,
This appears to be a very good looking extant Boucher. I am familiar with approximately 36 extant Boucher banjos. This would make it 37. It has all of the tell tale signs beyond the builder's stamp.
--Stauffer style peghead (or, lateral flat violin style peghead) with beehive finial/applique
--Two-piece neck where the dowel stick is inset.
--What appears to be a roman numeral five "V" that some researchers attribute to being some type of manufacturer's lot number (if the body has not been too disturbed over the years, there should be another "V" on the inside of the body on the tailpiece side)
--The neck has the quintessential Boucher ornate double ogee with the vertical fifth string peg
--The dowel stick protrusion on the tailpiece side of the body is cylindrically shaped and laterally displaced as part of the neck-to-body orientation
--The body is the standard bent hoop
--It appears to have been a tack head
I would have to go back through my records to look at other Boucher banjos to account for the two holes on either side of the body. Too bad there is very little finish on the instrument as that would also tell us more about whether or not this were a double head or single headed instrument Those are just my initial observations. I would love to learn more about the instruments and acquire some measurements as part of my documentation work for the Banjo Sightings Database Project.
I also briefly contributed to a discussion about this banjo on a Banjo Hangout thread where several other quite knowledgeable people, like Ed Britt and Marc (Trapdoor), also offered very insightful comments:
I agree with the potential construction descriptions provided by Ed [Britt] and others about the "mutant" factor with the body of this instrument and what I've seen as a dual tension hoop/flesh hoop assembly that usually accompanies the bodies with the 2 holes, one on either side. If this banjo truly was only ever a tackhead, then I believe it is a bit of an oddity and a unique Boucher amongst the other Bouchers.
Back to my studies! Hope to see you guys around one of these days.
I bought it - I'm putting some electronic self-tuning tuners on it, and flashing disco lights where the frets would be. No need for a wammy bar if it's fretless, so that's money saved. I think it's strong enough for steel strings...