Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Jim Jacquet's Blog (4)

Circa 1860s restored banjo

Just got this restored banjo on ebay. Wyatt Fawley, in Pennsylania, restored it. We both believe it to be from the 1860s, based on the hand made hooks and nuts, and the way they are attached to the wooden pot. Wyatt had to steam the wooden pot back into round, and one of the hooks/nuts is a replacement. Original black paint is still on rimstick. Pot is hand sawed maple and neck is tight grwined walnut.

I haven't gotten this in the mail yet, but was wondering what the consensus is as to the… Continue

Added by Jim Jacquet on December 1, 2015 at 10:33pm — 6 Comments

homemade gourd banjo

Hi. Just built, with the generous help of a luthier friend, a gourd banjo similar to the one in the 1790 painting The Old Plantation.

Got me wondering, do we know how they would have been tuned at the time? I have the 3 and a half strings…


Added by Jim Jacquet on February 5, 2014 at 5:19pm — No Comments

Possible 1870s HC Dobson?

Just got this old banjo on eBay. It was listed as homemade or folk art, which is why there were no serious bidders.

I think it is an 1870s  H.C. Dobson, before he went to the more conventional design in the 1880s.

Any thoughts, pro or con about that I.D.? Haven't taken it apart yet, so don't know if it says  Dobson inside the pot.

Jim Jacquet

​Olympia, WA…


Added by Jim Jacquet on October 28, 2013 at 7:56pm — 28 Comments

old minstrel banjo

With the generous help of Eric Prust, in Sequim, WA, and a beautiful tailpiece from Joel Hooks, the old minstrel banjo is playable! Wonderful, deep sound! Playing it with nylgut strings tuned down low.
Thanks to everyone for their positive feedback!

Added by Jim Jacquet on October 22, 2013 at 9:42pm — 8 Comments


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