Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Pretty cool CDV up on ebay at the moment. Oddball banjo with 2 chanterelles, 22 inlaid frets. Pretty reasonable dating via the photographer's dates extant: 1862-1864.

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I really like this picture. Looks SO badass!

Same idea....different century

Looks like minstrel tuning, judging from his fretting position. And looks like stroke style, judging from his right hand. Is this an extra long neck? Nasty wig. lol

We had a much more in-depth discussion of this CDV on BHO. We pretty much agreed that this was a 13" rim banjo and when the photo is scaled, it is ~28" scale neck (pretty normal up till the 20th C). I think the combination of the large head and that Buckley was evidently a smaller guy (maybe 5'4"?) gives the impression of it being really long.

It also looks like it has raised frets but on closer inspection, they're flush.

Flush? Then why do we see the light colored fret humps in the neck profile, especially in the area nearer the pot? And why are the frets all casting shadows?

Large head- yeah the guy has a big head for sure- but he looks like a real small fellow to me, with a normal sized head bobbling around on top. I'm thinking he was around 5'3" or something.

I think the raised frets are an illusion. One of the chanterelles is coincident with the edge of the neck at the photo angle resulting in a wavy edge that looks like frets. Large *banjo* head... ;-)

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