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I have had the pleasure to own an 1894 Lion banjo made by the Lion Banjo Manufacturing Company of Rock Rapids, Iowa for several years now and have unexpected...

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Comment by NatureJunkie on October 28, 2023 at 9:35pm

That instrument is really beautiful. I realize in watching your video that I've seen "scalloped" fret boards before, but I didn't know the scalloping was a deliberate innovation--I just assumed that the wood had been worn down between the frets by decades of playing. Also, the tunnel for the 5th string was the first thing I noticed before you even started talking about it. I've never seen that before. It looks like a very difficult way to get that 5th string on there compared to just putting a tuning peg on the side of the fret board, but hey, what do I know?

Lovely playing, Willie, thank you. I don't think I could play a 130 year-old instrument like that without thinking about every human hand that had touched it before me. I hope its next home is a loving one.

Comment by Trimaddog on January 4, 2024 at 4:29pm

Thanks! I enjoy playing and working this old banjos and realize that my hands are just the current hands that appreciate the instrument. I love researching and finding what I can about each instrument. Occasionally there are clues that take me all the way back to the banjos builder or its first owner. Fun to imagine all the people in-between!

Also there are a lot of banjos that the scalloping is just as you said... wear from lots of playing, but it is usually only in the frets close to the head. This banjo got a very good new owner who has been playing her a lot and treats her well!


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