Tunbridge Ware Minstrel Fretless Banjo - UK 1870s - Mosaic Art Inlay

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1870s seven string fretless banjo - [can set up and play as a five string] - Tunbridge-ware decorated. 11 3/8" rim - a primitive grain measure-like scalloped hoop, bone (or possibly ivory) tailpiece, friction pegs, modern style nickel plated hooks and shoes - provenance of the latter unknown. Minstrel-style geometries and def. once a player's kit - you can see the grooves on the back of the neck where someone improvised frets with string. When set up to play - either as a 5 or 7 string banjo - this Tunbridge-ware kit has a sound that transports you back 150 years, quite haunting. The inlay mosaic is a remarkable example of UK Tunbridge-ware craft - there are hundreds of small inlays that cohere into this complex, integrated geometric pattern. This banjo distinguishes itself with a very refined, resolved visual vibe - more line less curve - many Tunbridge-ware banjos, conversely, have an overblown complicated aesthetic that this one admirably avoids. If you're a Tunbridge collector, or really drawn to the energy of the mosaic pattern as artwork itself, or just looking for a sesquicentenarian banjo that still can drive a dance floor - this is it. FWIW - the banjo yields almost 16" of fretboard and its about 34 1/2" from top of peghead to tailpiece. Sells with SSC, bridge for five or seven string setups, and strung (slacked for travel) with a mix of gut and a wound. Thanks!

This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Condition:
Very Good (Used)
Brand
Tunbridge Ware
Model
Minstrel Fretless Banjo
Finish
Natural / None
Categories
Banjos
Year
1870s
Made In
United Kingdom

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About The Seller

Branyon's Gear Locker
Joined Oct 2015
Washington, DC, United States

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This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Branyon's Gear Locker

Washington, DC, United States
Joined: Oct 2015

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