Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Folks- What do you think about this banjo? Does it look right? Can you date it? What do you think it'll go for?

I'm going down Saturday to look at it and take photos. I want to try to get it for our museum (in Lynchburg), I'll have to rob a bank.


BTW- The grandson of the Morgan fellow that wrote the book in the auction, lives just a few blocks away from me.

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I'm no expert, but that Federal Shield hardware is often a sign of post-war construction and/or alteration. It certainly looks properly ante-bellum.
Looks like a scalloped Boucher body with a faux finish and a severely beaten up neck. Without looking at it closely, I certainly couldn't say so with any authority. In terms of collecting data about early banjos, I've heard of this banjo, but have never seen it in any detail like this before. Perhaps George W. might like to chime in?
I agree that it looks more like a Boucher than a cheesebox. I suspect the federal shield brackets are later additions as it appears to have had sheet-metal brackets at one time. All in all, it looks like some carpenter crafted a neck to go on a found pot assembly...which would fit the 'history' behind it pretty well.
We were fortunate enough to purchase this banjo (through a sponsor). We're going to have it restored and put on display. The ID to the soldier is not 100%, but it still is a local piece, and a pre-Civil War Boucher (with replacement neck). Its going to look nice restored. I will post "after" photos.

Greg Starbuck

PS- The shield hardware is a later addition.

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