Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Neat looking tambourine. Wonder if it's as old as they claim? http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Antique-Tambourine-Brass-Banjo-hardware-All-... 

Views: 98

Comment by Strumelia on December 18, 2012 at 4:36pm

Looks just like this one from the 1930's: http://www.granthum1763antiques.com/id110.html

Besides, isn't the round hole actually a more modern factory feature for attaching the tambo to a drum set stand?

Comment by Rob Morrison on December 19, 2012 at 9:36am

Ian-- I have a couple of 19th century tambourines and they're both tackheads.  One is from the 1850's (It has a patent number) and is painted red and the other is probably a bit later than that, painted black.  The decoration on this one is typical of 1880's banjos, but it doesn't have square nuts (may have been replaced).  In short, in my expert opinion, I have no real idea whether it's authentic or not.  But at least it's very decorative.

Comment by Rob Morrison on December 19, 2012 at 9:51am

Strumelia-- Re: the hole in the tambourine.  My 1858 patent red tackhead tambourine has a hole in the side, too.  I think you were supposed to stick your thumb into it.

Comment by Strumelia on December 19, 2012 at 11:01am

Rob, I thought the hole was for a thumb too, until I did some reading online and watched tambo instruction videos, several of which explained that although most everyone thinks the hole is for a thumb it's actually for attaching the tambo to a drum set stand.  I've tried sticking my (smallish) thumb through the little round hole in my modern tambourines, but the hole is too small, the angle is completely wrong, and my thumb just gets stuck in it.  Rob have you tried putting your thumb through the hole in your red tambourine- does it work?  But I've seen pics of older tambs that have wider longer oval openings that seem more likely for hand holding.    So...who knows?

Comment by Strumelia on December 19, 2012 at 2:56pm

hey, I get stuck!  I had to call the fire department!   

Comment by Ian Bell on December 19, 2012 at 4:10pm

Bring in the jaws of life!

Comment by Rob Morrison on December 20, 2012 at 10:49am

Strumelia--What a great topic!  Yeah, my thumb fits in the hole of that old tambourine, and that's how I play it.  I'm certainly no expert on this, and I believe everything you said about the new ones.  I do think they started out for thumbs though, because they really didn't use drum stands in the olden days.

Comment by Strumelia on December 20, 2012 at 10:53am

Can you post a photo of your tambo here Rob?  Would love to see it!  And...do you perhaps have a tiny thumb?   ...LOL!

Comment by Rob Morrison on December 20, 2012 at 11:19am

Strumelia--I'm a technological moron, but I'll try to send pictures of both my old tambourines.  Here's something everyone should know--the first folding drum stand was made by Ulysses G. Leedy in 1898. It may take a while on the picrures.--Rob.  P.S. I am all thumbs.


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