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Thread: Help with Identification from Poor Picture

  1. #1

    Default Help with Identification from Poor Picture

    My son plays mandolin and I have been researching the family tree. These two worlds recently collided. In doing family tree research, I came across a picture of an English Uncle who was playing a Banjo Mandolin. The picture I would guess would be 1930s.

    It is a scanned picture so the picture quality is not great. As we have been quietly lurking on here for awhile, my son had the idea of posting it here to see if anyone could help identify the maker. We felt the headstock had some shaping to it that may lead to identification.

    Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks
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  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with Identification from Poor Picture

    Check out this thread. Your sort of looks like that one although no one actually IDed that one. Lots of British makers from that era. Do a Google image search to see what gets close.
    Jim

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Help with Identification from Poor Picture

    Thanks; the one in the thread looks similar for sure. I tried the google search and all that came up was this thread LOL. Do these British ones have a different tone than a us banjolin? What genre of music was typically played in Britain with these instruments. It was not my go to thought when thinking of British music.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help with Identification from Poor Picture

    Quote Originally Posted by AFBRAT View Post
    Do these British ones have a different tone than a us banjolin?
    No, they all sound pretty bad!

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  6. #5
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with Identification from Poor Picture

    Quote Originally Posted by AFBRAT View Post
    ...Do these British ones have a different tone than a us banjolin? What genre of music was typically played in Britain with these instruments. It was not my go to thought when thinking of British music.
    British mandolin banjos often have smaller "pots" (bodies) than their American counterparts, and as a result, may have a bit more "treble" tone, and sometimes a bit less volume -- though a shrill-sounding instrument will cut through, and most mando-banjos don't lack for projection.

    Banjo makers were quite common in England (check out this page) but I'm not aware of a genre of British music that attracted banjoists the way bluegrass, Dixieland jazz and old-timey string band music attracted US players. The singer and actor George Formby made the ukulele banjo quite popular in the UK, and there is a fairly thriving group of "classical" banjoists still active in England. Banjo has become regularly featured in Irish instrumental music, but this development is more recent.
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Help with Identification from Poor Picture

    Excellent! Thanks for the link and the response.

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  9. #7

    Default Re: Help with Identification from Poor Picture

    I've got one, a family heirloom, I've seen a lot of these zither type banjolins and never seen one with a makers name on it.

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