S. S. Stewart Philada Open Back 5-string Banjo ca. 1888

Local Pickup Only
This seller is open to offers
Local Pickup Only
London, United Kingdom
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Lovely vintage S. S. Stewart "Philada" open-back 5 string banjo. So far as I can tell, the serial number – 4276 – dates it to around 1888. It has 20 brackets and is currently fitted with a Remo head. It's also been fitted with Keith/Scruggs tuners on the middle two strings, a sliding 5th string capo and a simple 'bug' type piezo pickup (which could be easily removed).

It looks like some of the brackets have been replaced (see pictures), but all wood and integral hardware seems to be original apart from the above. 

The banjo plays well and has a lovely, plunky tone – I have owned it for about 15 years, and gigged and recorded with it. The neck is small and sleek with an ebony fretboard (it has a few dings etc on both sides, see pictures). The frets have some wear but the neck is straight and the intonation is true. It's a great all-rounder but ideal for frailing/clawhammer – it has no tone ring or resonator. It sounds good with a flat pick, too. It has basic but elegant inlays, including a star on the headstock.

The instrument shows the cosmetic signs of wear and use that one would expect for its age, but is in good working order and plays well. It comes with a basic plywood hard case. 

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.

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