Venerable old 1920s Vega Professional Tenor banjo with custom gold-plated hardware. This old beauty features oettenger tailpiece, original “Vega” armrest, 28 brackets on the 11” head, Ebony fingerboard, decorative MOP inlay on neck and headstock and classic “pie plate” Maple resonator. The tuning machinbes appear to be the original “Planetary” tuners and the older skin head looks good and still holds tension. As an added bonus, this instrument is outfitted with a rare Elting head warmer device that uses interior light bulbs to heat/tighten the head before playing. The bulbs and cord are in place and all still work as designed. (see photos)
This instrument has a good pedigree and history. It belonhged to a member of some bands that played regular dances in St. Petersburgh, Florida at its historic venue “The Coliseum.” It belonged to a player named James A. Gaylard. The Hard case has “SOUTHERNERS” on. bottom side and “JIMMY GAYLARD, St. Petersburgh, Fla.,Rex MacDonald’s Silver Kings, Burk’s Colisuem Orchestra”on the lid.
The instrument is in good “vintage" condition with the typical and expected tarnish on gold-plated parts. The resonater is missing some tortoise binding. and has some minor wood damadge esspecially at edges. But overall, the instrument looks good and plays very well with a straight neck, appropriate comfortable action and a nice old plucky 1920s tone.