Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Just got a phone call from someone who has an old banjo she wants to sell. Said she didn't know squat about banjos, but had seen enough antiques to know that it would be worth her while to do some research first. I guess I was the first name that came up on her google search that had a listed phone number...?

Anyway, she sent me some photos and it's one of those ca.1870 Dobsons with the wooden tension hoop. Raised frets, metal covering on the headstock and some metal decoration in the fingerboard. It was rescued from the trash and looks it, though all the big pieces appear intact.

My advice to her was to put it up on eBay as-is, which I think she'll be doing within a few days.

I thought someone around here might be interested.


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I've got a '67 flush fret neck that I mated to a simple bent hoop to make my first minstrel banjo. Would be nice to get the original style pot but I think I had to re-work the heel a bit to fit it to the plain pot. Mine's probably been played more in this mongrel form than it had been in its previous life so probably best to just leave it alone.

Dave Culgan

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