Thank you for sharing Elaine. I don't think I've seen image before. If you can get the text for us, that'd be great!!
Awesome image! If you get a hold of the text, I'd be glad to translate it into English!
Yes, unreliable at best. However, from an engineering perspective (and yes, I have many engineering perspective drawings under my belt) I would say that from looking at how the pegs and the rim of the banjo are depicted, it is tilted back longitudinally (like mine are when I'm sitting playing...and the player appears as portly as I am too) and thus a horizontal ellipse rather than a vertical one. If the hands were markedly different in size (as if the neck was further from the viewer than the pot), I would agree.
Macht nichts, great picture.
I agree with John on the gourd banjo, also because it doesn't look to be held flat against the chest but held the thickness of a gourd away. I don't think the oval appearance is due to perspective (my degree in art is useful!), as it would instead be a vertical oval in that case, as depicted from the perspective of the artist standing at ground level in front of the scene.
Of course this is not a photo but a drawing so may not be enough to draw such conclusions reliably.
Or - (speaking as someone who just steamed and bent his first banjo pot) - "It just may not be round".
The banjo pot in question is now attached to a neck and will be ready for strings tomorrow. It's another tackhead - prettier than my grain measure - hope it sounds as good. I'll post a video once I get it working.