Circa 1870
Banjo by Thomas Bree

© Frank Ford, 2003; Photos by FF

There weren't many banjo makers active on the west coast in those days, and we certainly don't see many examples of San Francisco made instruments from the Nineteenth Century. So, it's always exciting for me to photograph a fine old timer like this one, made right in our own backyard. The hooks, nuts and shoes are probably not original, and it is likely that the maker purchased the shell from an eastern manufacturer. The Brazilian rosewood neck was originally fretless with flush inlaid fret markers - there are tiny fragments of ivory or bone left in the bottoms of a few fret slots. The tuning pegs are silver plated cast brass.

Please click the small image


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