S. S. Stewart Banjo c. 1887-88 with Chipboard Case
We are offering a lovely late 1880s S. S. Stewart banjo that is great for old-time and Clawhammer-style playing. Serial number 3798. We don't know the exact model designation of this instrument but the features are fairly similar to the "Universal Favorite." It has a spun-over German Silver pot with faux-Rosewood interior, 24 brackets, a 11.5" pot, a 27.5" scale length and what appears to be an original no-knot style tailpiece. The neck has an Ebony fingerboard with nice MOP inlay of stars, dots, diamonds etc. with similar MOP decorative inlay on the headstock. It appears to have a Maple neck with black Ebony heel cap, and there are white plastic friction tuners and a non-geared 5th string peg with Ebony button. There are also dot inlets on the side of the neck under each fret end.
The instrument is in good playing condition. There are some miner dings and marks and some tarnish of metal parts as would be expected of an instrument of this age but the frets are in good shape and the tone from this 10.5" pot is both clear and plunky and really quite lovely. There is one small piece of dot inlay missing from the side of the neck and a single thin shim to solidify the action. It is currently set up for clawhammer playing with a 7/16" bridge. The instrument appears to be all original except for a new bracket or two and a new Fiberskyn head, and perhaps the plastic friction tuners. It comes with a more recent chipboard case.