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Tunbridge Ware Banjo - Ca. 1870s Mosaic - UK Arts&Crafts

Photo for Ad 132493

Full ad crossposted on Reverb - more pics, et cetera there. 1870s seven string fretless banjo - [can set up and play as a five string] - Tunbridge-ware decorated. 11 3/8" rim - a primitive grain measure-like scalloped hoop, bone (or possibly ivory) tailpiece, friction pegs, modern style nickel plated hooks and shoes - provenance of the latter unknown. Minstrel-style geometries and def. once a player's kit - you can see the grooves on the back of the neck where someone improvised frets with string. When set up to play - either as a 5 or 7 string banjo - this Tunbridge-ware kit has a sound that transports you back 150 years, quite haunting. The inlay mosaic is a remarkable example of UK Tunbridge-ware craft - there are hundreds of small inlays that cohere into this complex, integrated geometric pattern. This banjo distinguishes itself with a very refined, resolved visual vibe - more line less curve - many Tunbridge-ware banjos, conversely, have an overblown complicated aesthetic that this one admirably avoids. If you're a Tunbridge collector, or really drawn to the energy of the mosaic pattern as artwork itself, or just looking for a sesquicentenarian banjo that still can drive a dance floor - this is it. FWIW - the banjo yields almost 16" of fretboard and its about 34 1/2" from top of peghead to tailpiece. Sells with SSC, bridge for five or seven string setups, and strung (slacked for travel) with a mix of gut and a wound. $1240 and ships CONUS $65. Thanks!

Reply to Ad #132493

Category: Banjos
Ad Number 132493
Posted: Dec 6, 2018 09:19 AM CDT

Ad Owner
Branyon FitzGerald

Washington DC


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Other current ads by this individual:

Bob Thornburg Grain Measure Banjo - #226 - Padauk Topside
Lyon & Healy (Unmarked) - 19th Cen. Banjo - 5To7String Setup