.. of Reading, Berkshire put his name as maker on banjos around about the turn of the 20th century'.
A specimen seen had a 10 inch hoop of nickel silver with 36 brackets. 'The fingerboard was inlaid with 17 frets; the remaining space of the fingerboard being taken up with of a large crescent and star in mother-of-pearl inlaid into the ebony. The ornate inlays in the fingerboard were of mother of pearl and diamantÆ stars.
No details have been discovered of Deane but it is possible he was a local teacher and the banjos were made for him - possibly Windsor or Abbott.
October 2012: Arthur W Deane born October 1865 in Henley on Thames and was living in Reading St Lawrance and registered as a carpenter in the 1901 census, aged 35. His wife Elizabeth ( b 1867) was a music teacher.
The banjo referred to in Sharpe's original text has been located and these are the pictures of it.
Living near Reading he would have had easy access to London by train and would have been able to buy the hardware to make banjos from dealers in London probably making the necks and doing the inlays himself.