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Thread: Late 19th Century Mando banjo

  1. #1

    Default Late 19th Century Mando banjo

    I am not a musician this item has been in my family for a long time. I was told it could possibly date back to the very early 1900s.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Late 19th Century Mando banjo

    Iím new, so Iím not sure how to post pictures of the instrument.Click image for larger version. 

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by johnny_masto; Nov-22-2022 at 9:53pm. Reason: Add pictures

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  4. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Late 19th Century Mando banjo

    This Silga mandolin-banjo bears some resemblance to yours: https://bernunzio.com/product/silga-...andolin-26848/

    Not sure 100% but possible and probably from the same era. For some reason I thought French — maybe it was the troubadour on the back.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Late 19th Century Mando banjo

    Not a troubadour. Just our old mandolin-playing clown, Pierrot. Not to get too far into this character, but he was international for a very long time, but really superstar grade from about 1880 to 1900. Very often depicted playing to the moon, although it was this one lady he was after.
    Can’t guess about the instrument origin, but I’d guess the period is before the turn of the century.
    Another common image, we’d call a meme lately, is that of a female angel with a mandolin or very similar thing; far more common than a harp- but the musicological connections are not nearly as clear as Pierrot’s.

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Late 19th Century Mando banjo

    If you are going to put new strings on and play it, use very light strings. I like to use two sets of tenor banjo strings. I use like a 10-28 gauge. The instrument will like you for it and it will not sound better than with heavier strings.
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  10. #6

    Default Re: Late 19th Century Mando banjo

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    If you are going to put new strings on and play it, use very light strings. I like to use two sets of tenor banjo strings. I use like a 10-28 gauge. The instrument will like you for it and it will not sound better than with heavier strings.
    I donít think Iím going to be playing this instrument anytime soon. So I left the strings very loose as to not damage the neck. Iím really looking to find out more information about it if possible. Does anyone know of a resource I can use to educate myself?

  11. #7

    Default Re: Late 19th Century Mando banjo

    I posted up a Jetel banjo mandolin from the 1920s or 30s that had a bit in common with this one which I think is from the same era. In the main, yellow tuners buttons mean La Belle France although that headstock is German in style but it may have been "assembled" from parts bought in- the British made examples often were. You can still see the auction which is in this thread: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...Banjolin-1930s

  12. #8

    Default Re: Late 19th Century Mando banjo

    Thank you Nick R. To be honest, I've been looking to see the approximate value of the item in case I needed to put some kind of special insurance rider on it.

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