Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Recently completed project for Ed in Indiana. Cherry neck, maple pot. 26" scale, custom brass brackets, dyed goat skin head; reclaimed, 150-year-old instrument-grade spruce bridge.

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Comment by Moschella Banjos on January 21, 2013 at 11:43pm

thanks, dan'l.

all the hardware is red brass, save for the hoop, which in this banjo is mild steel (though i sometimes make hoops out of brass as well). i do apply a patina, as well as an additional treatment, both of which i learned about from friends in the fine art world. i remove the patina as appropriate to give more character to the piece, and to accentuate the beauty of the metals used. in many cases, the final product is completely indistinguishable from the original after the castings are cleaned up and the patina applied. in fact, in one case i had borrowed some original hardware to reproduce, and faced a considerable challenge when i accidentally mixed them in with the reproductions after applying the treatment.

hardware, to me, is often one of the most interesting elements of these banjos, and i greatly enjoy investigating the various forms and materials used in order to reproduce them.

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