View Full Version : Some photos of my banjolin

Nov-29-2009, 2:25am
SS Stewart name, made long after Samuel Swain Stewart died and his sons sold the rights to use the name to "jobbers". This one carries a tag on the dowel rod SS Stewart New York NY. The peg head got cut off on the photo, but is a very fancy "snake head" with SS Stewart in MOP inlay just below it. Even around each tuner post is MOP circles. Enjoy, It actually has better tone then the cheapie mandolin I am fixing up for an everyday knock around instrument. The tuners are enclosed and as you should be able to see in the photos it is an "arch-top" type pot. If you look at the photo taken from underneath, you will see the support system for the archtop tonering.

Nov-29-2009, 4:18pm
Short Mugwumps article on Identifying S S Stewart Banjos here. (http://www.mugwumps.com/sss_date.htm) After Stewart died in 1898, several companies, including Slingerland, Gibson, Rettberg & Lange made banjos with the "S S Stewart" label. I had a "Fred Stewart" (one of his sons) inexpensive tenor that was apparently made by Epiphone. I've never seen one with the headstock cut-out like yours.

Nov-29-2009, 4:31pm
I fell in love with it as a unique instrument-all the fancy art deco look to it and in pretty remarkable condition at first glance. But then after owning it and really taking time to take it apart to study it and clean it etc, I have seen where someone over the years attempted to recut the heel -and of course screwed it up. The action is too high to make it playable above the 5the 5th fret. The heel has about 1/8 " of wood putty that was fashioned real nice and stained to match the blonde neck back. The heel also has a crack developing right where the center line inlays are. Easy enough fix-glue clamp. But it needs additonal stabilization in order to get it to a playable condition-in order to withstand the tremendous force put on it by steel strings. I am thinking of trying some nyguts and see if they ease the tension that pulls the neck forward and down.

I am by no means a luthier. I just tinker with stuff. But even I know when I am over my head and it is time to send something out. Shame more people BEFORE they screw something antique up, don't.;)