April 2013 front page

SS Stewart and Matthew Front

.. Perhaps the patent had run out? One of the exciting things about buying anything at auction, on line, is finding out what you actually get for your money when you take delivery.

Banjos are special cases in that some makers only put their marks somewhere in the pot and these are sometimes only revealed when taking off the resonator. You have paid the price hoping it was made by the maker you thought, and also, no one else knew better.

I bought a mixed lot recently that included a banjo-mandolin, in a nice case. I took little notice of it at the time but taking it out of the case revealed hardware on the back.

In these two pictures the technology in the un-named banjo-mandolin, almost certainly made in Birmingham in the 1920’s, (The neck clamp and the ridge in the heel are typical of Matthew) goes back at least to the SS Stewart some 30 years earlier?

In the case of the banjo-madolin (click on the picture) the neck tensioner goes through the pot rather than under it as in the case of the Stewart.

Neck braces
german flag
French flag
union jack

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Time Capsule

Found anything interesting in grandad's loft recently?
.. from the cubby box of a JA Turner "Alvey"5 string, how about this little collection, probably cost about six and thruppence ha'penny in the 1920's, .... not sure how the John Grey "Dulcetta" guitar slide fits in! .. were they used on Banjos?

CONTENTS: Eraser (USA) or rubber(UK), reel of “Nulli Secundus” Brand (Latin for "Second to None") tape for “repairing music sheets”, John Grey Dulcetta guitar slide, razor blades, various tortoise shell and ivory picks, resonator fixing clamp, Royal and Bell brand strings, two nut keys and an ebony mute?

Link to your site? contact us
For tailpieces .. Michael Holmes article on Mugwumps
Antique/Vintage Banjos at auction Collectors Weekly
Banjoleles on David Sims Ukulele Corner
Hank Schwartz site on the history of Fairbanks

last Updated: 23 May 2013
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