The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Tenor

Vega Artist Tenor Banjo, 1926

The Vega Artist Tenor banjo was a professional grade instrument made by one of the top – from the turn of the 20th century to the 1930s – American musical instrument producers. However, just about the time the Dopyera Brothers and George Beauchamp started National to produce their new resophonic guitars, the popularity of banjos began to drop, and by the 1930s many banjo players had shifted to guitar.

Price: $1999.99 CAD
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Williams and Son Echo Style 15 Open Back Banjo, 1895

Williams and Son Echo Style 15 Open Back Banjo, 1895

Just in time for Canada Day, here’s an 1895  R S Williams and Son Echo Style 15 Open Back Banjo strung with nylon, built in Oshawa, Ontario.  To the Depression era, R S Williams was a prominent manufacturer of instruments, including pianos, guitars, banjos, mandolins and violins.

Price: $669 CAD
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SOLD! Gibson TB-250 Tenor Banjo, 1966

SOLD!  Gibson TB-250 Tenor Banjo, 1966

For quite some time, Gibson banjos were standard professional grade instruments, and the Gibson TB-250 was their ‘entry level’ tenor banjo. From 1966 it was available as a MasterTone model with that tone ring. This model was built from 1954 to 1996.

Price: $1500 CAD

This instrument has sold

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Frank Neat Bean Blossom 5-String Banjo, 2003

Frank Neat Bean Blossom 5-String Banjo, 2003

This is an interesting piece – a Frank Neat Bean Blossom 5-string banjo, built as one of 22 Bean Blossom banjos, with the neck and resonator using walnut from a tree that grew next to Bill Monroe’s stage at the Bean Blossom festival grounds. Working from his shop in Russel Spring, central Kentucky,  Frank Neat builds some of the world’s finest banjos.   He’s run his shop since 1980.     

Price: $3250 CAD
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Washburn Soprano Ukulele by Lyon and Healy, 1920s

Washburn Soprano Ukulele by Lyon and Healy, 1920s

Here’s a treat – a Washburn Soprano Ukulele, built by Lyon & Healy during the 1920s in Chicago, Illinois and in very nice condition with the original canvas trap-door case. As to Lyon and Healy, towards the end of the 1970’s, the Steinway company purchased Lyon & Healy, spinning off their other efforts to focus on building quality harps. This Washburn Soprano ukulele is built with a mixture of Mahogany for the body and bridge, Spanish Cedar for the neck, Rosewood for the fingerboard and small pieces of Ebony for the nut and saddle. The top, back and soundhole are bound with a grained ivoroid celluloid.

Price: $1499.99 CAD
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Gibson RB-18 Mastertone Top Tension 5-String Banjo Sunburst, 1996

Gibson RB-18 Mastertone Top Tension 5-String Banjo Sunburst, 1996

Here we’re looking at a wonderfully preserved Gibson RB-18 Mastertone ‘Top Tension’ 5-string banjo, with its gold plating unworn and the finish lightly checked from age. From the serial number, it appears to have been produced during June of 1996. The number breaks down as ‘RB’ for Regular Banjo – i.e. 5-string – ’18’ for the style, followed by two digits for the year (96) and two for the month (06). The last group of digits, a single number 7 in this case, is the production number for that model in that date period.

Price: $7699.99 CAD
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