Monday, May 20, 2013
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6 String Piccolo Banjo (maker unknown) , c. 1870
An interesting and historical instrument.
6 String Model Piccolo Banjo (maker unknown), c. 1870, made in England, natural lacquer finish.
A beautiful example of a 19th Century English Fretless Minstrel Era Piccolo Banjo, elaborately decorated with Tunbridgeware style marquetry. Five melody strings and one drone string in typical "English 6-string" fashion. Neck scooped out at body end, with bump for fifth string which feeds thru fingerboard to peg. Headstock rectangularly shaped with violin style pegs in "X" pattern. Carved wooden tailpiece wired to dowel end.
Rim is a thin single lap lamination with four unplated brass hooks with square nuts and shoes hooked thru the rim without screws. Heavy dowelstick secured by single ebony peg in center. Excellent workmanship throughout, especially the decorative woodwork. Tunbridgeware marquetry was produced in Tunbridge Wells, England in the mid-19th Century and is found on many different types of products.
Overall length is 23 in. (58.4 cm.), 7 in. (17.8 cm.) diameter head, and 2 3/4 in. (7 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Extremely fine original condition, especially for a 19th Century instrument. Pegs do not match exactly but are all of the same style and appearance. Decoration completely intact. Rim is somewhat out of round with a small repaired stress crack at 7 o'clock by the shoe with a small piece of veneer missing. Very little play or handling wear. Set up with gut strings and an old (but not period) skin head. Includes a 1930's semi-shaped case of the type usually found with English banjo-ukes in excellent condition.
Item # 1859
This item has been sold.
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