Fairbanks & Cole

S/N 1402 ca. 1881


The Banjo

This Clipper suffered catastrophic damage in a fire. This pot and the stub of the neck are all that
remain. The pot was cleaned up to the extent that the majority of the chared surface was removed
and the metal and hardware cleaned as shown.

The pot is missing its tone ring. Judging from the dimensions of the shelf on the outer top of the wooden
pot it appears that the tone ring was a simple ring, 11 1/2" diameter, formed from a 3/16" diameter rod.

The pot was cleaned and assembled with a piece of Saran Wrap in place of the skin head just to
keep it all together and to apply some minor tension to the cobra hooks.


The Neck

The majority of the burned neck was removed leaving just this stub. It is interesting to note that the
bore for the dowel stick comes perilously close to the surface of the heel. If it had been drilled a bit
deeper it would have broken through.

The remaining inlay at the bottom of the neck is an attractive and unusual early design.
The neck had flush ivory frets.



The Pot

The pot was badly burned, particularly on the right side. The rosewood inner and outer
laminations on that side have turned largely to charcoal.

The pot appears to consist of 4 center laminations of maple, and inner and outer laminations of
rosewood that are twice the thickness of the maple laminations.

The tension hoop is the same complex shape as that found on the other Clippers. There is a sharp
groove for the cobra hooks situated below a nicely beaded upper edge.

There is a recess in the bottom of the tension hoop into which the flesh hoop fits.
The flesh hoop has the usual cotton string wrapping of the cut ends.


Patent Markings & Serial Number Stamps

This banjo has the usual serial numbers stamped into the inside of the pot,
the upper side of the dowel stick and the inside of the tension hoop.

It has Patent Applied For markings stamped into a number of the washers

and into the tension hoop.

The Fairbanks & Cole, Makers marking is stamped into the top and bottom of the dowel stick
but there is NO Clipper stamp. This is unusual for Fairbanks who seemed to be compulsive
about stamping everything relevant on any appropriate banjos surfaces.

The neck brace is Most unusual. It is apparently an early version of the "shoe
style" neck brace that was later patented by Fairbanks.


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