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1931 Dobro Tenortrope Custom

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Here we have an example of not only the quality of instruments made during the Golden Age of Luthiery, but also a testament to the era of innovation. Among the inventors and innovators were the Dopyera Bros. who created not only the Dobro instruments, but National as well.

One of their most unusual innovations was the Tenortrope, a tenor banjo scaled (22 3/4”) neck with a 9 1/2” spider cone, enabling tenor banjoists the ability to play with even more volume.

This example has some eye-dazzling appointments. From the peg head, with its Playing card inspired inlay (that may have been added later), to the gold plated, engraved metal parts, and the matched 4 piece walnut resonator, this instrument is a delight for the optical orbs.

In fine condition, save for some light scratches on the resonator, the tuning machines have been replaced with modern gold plated Planets with pearl styled buttons. There is evidence that at one time there was an electric pickup installed in the cover plate, and then removed, with the 2 knob and jack holes plugged and re-finished. The neck is straight, with low action and no visible fret wear.

Mandolin players and tenor banjoists will recognize this as an opportunity to add a new dimension to their sound palette. And collectors will want to add this to their “rare and unusual” acquisitions.

$2950 including ‘60s hard case.

Additional photos available upon request