Museum: Banjos

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c.1905 Cammeyer Banjo

Alfred D. Cammeyer was a an American banjoist, composer and instrument manufacturer who emigrated to London, England in the late 1800's and who was active in all things banjo through to the second world war.

Although not an instrument builder himself, his company, The Cammeyer Music and Manufacturing Co., built beautiful banjos, zither banjos, lutes, and other interesting stringed instruments in the first half of the 20th century.

This 5 string banjo is a beautiful creation, with masterful craftsmanship evident in all the details -- from the carefully engraved fingerboard inlays to the ornate tailpiece. The instrument features hand-engraved French tuning machines with ivory buttons, pearl accents in the headstock, ebony fingerboard with exquisite inlay-work and novel 5th string 'tube' which eliminates the need for a 5th string tuner at the 5th fret; 8" diameter head, English style rim assembly with top tension adjustment.

The instrument has been lovingly set-up in our shop and plays very nicely. Its tone is intimate and warm, and well suited for clawhammer style. The neck has a pronounce V carve, a width of 1-13/16" at the nut, and a scale of 27-1/4". There are some repairs around the edges of the resonator, and the last fingerboard inlay is missing. The instrument's finish is original throughout.

The banjo's original tooled leather Reliance case is as much a thing to behold as the banjo. Upholstered with a regal blue satin lining, and carefully fitted to the banjo, the case is a work of art and craftsmanship of high order.

We've left all the case goodies with the instrument as well. Wrenches, old string packs, strings, and picks.

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