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Thread: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

  1. #1

    Default Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    Anyone share some insight on this little guy. Epiphone stamp on the back of the headstock looks like it was double stamped....Any idea of the year or model if indeed an Epiphone?
    Thanks.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    I'm no mandolin(banjolin) expert, those familiar with vintage stock I'm sure will chime in, that being said, I have dealt with and seen numerous instruments over the years, and I've never seen Epiphone or any other manufacture of instruments rubber stamp their name on the back of a headstock, second, never seen those tuners before either, and whom ever installed them, installed one crooked as hell. Looks a lot like a Vega neck, maybe a Vega instrument with the wrong tuners, or a homemade instrument or one cobbled together from more than one.

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    The tuners were made for decades by a company named Waverly. They show up on decades of Gibson A models as well as on other major makes.

    The tailpiece was also made by Waverly. It was used by pretty much every builder of mandolins from Gibson to Martin to Harmony to Kay. etc.

    By the time this was made many well known companies were already outsourcing mandolins and banjos to people that specifically built those items and labeling them as their own. I have no idea if that's what happened here or not. I'm sure an Epiphone expert will chime in here eventually.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; May-17-2018 at 8:23am.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    Regardless of who made it, unless your trying to sell it, clean it up, get it in playable condition and have fun with it!!

  6. #5

    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The tuners were made for decades by a company named Waverly. They show up on decades of Gibson A models as well as on other major makes.

    The tailpiece was also made by Waverly. It was used by pretty much every builder of mandolins from Gibson to Martin to Harmony to Kay. etc.

    By the time this was made many well known companies were already outsourcing mandolins and banjos to people that specifically built those items and labeling them as their own. I have no idea if that's what happened here or not. I'm sure an Epiphone expert will chime in here eventually.
    Thank you!

  7. #6

    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    I'm planning on selling it so I'd like to have some accurate information.

  8. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    You might find some information on the Banjo Hangout. Banjo mandolins regularly fail to sell on eBay weekly. Unless you can find someone that can actually tell you who made it, not the name stamped on the back, then you really don't know what you have. Either way it's not worth a whole lot. You won't buy a new car with it but you might have a nice night out for you and a couple of your friends. It is missing some parts and that can be an issue.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    It might have some appeal to an Epiphone collector.

  10. #9
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    The grooved banjo tension hoop era dates approximately from the late teens to the mid twenties. After that most tension hoops were slotted. Epiphone was purchased by CMI in 1957; this instrument is definitely from before that time, from the build and parts I'd guess early twenties.

    Mike's recommendation about Banjo Hangout is good if you want more specific information.
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  11. #10
    Front Porch & Sweet Tea NursingDaBlues's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    http://www2.epiphone.com/thevintagecollection/

    Enter site. Then check 1923-1925 Banjo/Mandolin. Be sure to look at all tabs.


    For some additional Epiphone information check:

    http://wiedler.ch/nyepireg/

  12. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    I am not sure why folks are doubting it was made by Epiphone. They were a banjo maker, tho made many fewer mandolin-banjos than, say, Gibson or Vega.

    Here is one on Reverb very similar in design same headstock shape with that metal dowel stick and that metal band as opposed to individual bracket shoes.

    IMHO that one is overpriced but you never know if there was an Epiphone collector who needed one.

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    Jim

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  14. #12
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    Glad to see you guys finally show up
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  15. #13
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    Banjo mandolins top out pretty low .. maybe $ 600 decades ago, and stays so for a long time .
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  16. #14

    Default Re: Help ID'ing this Vintage Epiphone Banjo Mandolin!

    I posted on Banjo Hangout, thanks for the advise! Hopefully I will get some decent opinions.

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