Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

photos (hopefully) of my eagle bracket piccolo,circa 1860's-70's?

Hi folks, got some photos loaded onto my pictures section of my latest little find, a tiny piccolo banjo.

It has the drooping eagle brackets,with "Union forever" on them, a 7 and 3/4" plated brass thin  rim(not spunover) and is 26 inches long.

No frets,just markings, round dowell.

any ideas about the age of it, and are the Union forever brackets a clue?


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Well Skip, your banjo is really cool and it looks like it was rode hard and hung up wet.  Unfortunately the "union forever" brackets appeared in catalogs into the 1890's.  Having said that, I do suspect your instrument is considerably older.  I have a similar small banjo that's a "pony" at 29 inches long with a 10 inch head, no metal cladding, a painted, faux rosewood finish, and only six hooks.  Your banjo is a bit odd because it has eleven hooks and the brass rim cover.  The tail piece is similar in shape to one used in the Buckbee factory on Morrison (no relation) banjos. If is looks like a Buckbee, feels like a Buckbee, and sounds like a Buckbee, it's probably a Buckbee, but who knows for sure.  The mystery of the these old things in their infinite variations is half the fun.  Sometimes I really think they just slapped together whatever they had on the bench that day.  For instance, I  own an 1880'sMorrison banjo with an Edward Dobson dowel stick.  Have fun with your find.


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