This is a curious quite early fretless with a thin deep
pot (12" diameter x 3 1/4" deep).
It is a bit over 37" tall.
The recent boxwood pegs were fitted to the banjo without altering the neck in any way.
A second drone string had been added below the first.
It was carved of a different wood and inset into the side of the neck.
The pot is stepped on the outside to restrain the lower
iron band. Tension between
that band and the upper one keeps the skin taught. The 12 tension bolts and nuts
are not iron. They are possibly brass or bronze.
The pot is beautiful flamey maple on the inside.
The neck is attached with a single bolt through the thin
wall of the pot.
The single bolt securing the neck is not iron, but the nut is.
There is no dowel stick.
The neck had previously broken off and was relocated to
opposite side of the pot. The hole below the neck bolt is the
prior location of the tailpiece mounting bolt.
There is an exaggerated notch where the neck meets the pot.
The skin appears to be ancient slunk.
Barely discernable is the mysterious inscription in blue pencil:
Edwin P Christy
After adding the pegs, nylon strings and a bridge, I tuned
it to early minstrel
pitch and played some tunes on it. The banjo has a wonderful sound and feel.
Unfortunately, the attachment area of the neck is extremely fragile and is
already showing signs of failure, so the strings are no longer under tension.
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