The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Fairbanks or Stewart Style Open Back Banjo 1890’s


Instrument Categories: ,


Serial Number N/A, built during the 1890’s
Pricing $849 CAD with fibre case from the 1950’s. SOLD
Case 1950’s brown fibre, faux alligator texture case included.
Comments Here is a lovely, fully playable 5-string open-back banjo from teh 1890’s. Featuring an 11 inch rolled brass on cherry wood fitted with the traditional calf skin head, and original lyre style tailpiece.The friction tuners are old but from a later pre-war period.

Back when “men were men”, banjo makers boasted about how many tension hooks they used. Whoever built this banjo could not have crammed many more hooks into the rim !! At 38 hooks this must approach the world-record.

The neck has been sanded down and refinished, then refretted decades ago. Clearly it was expertly done and the banjo plays well. They removed any sign of the maker from the dowel stick but it certainly looks like a Stewart to me…any input from our clients would be gratefully accepted.

Note: from input from various customers I am now convinced that this is a Buckbee banjo: the peghead shape is typical of this venerable 19th century banjo maker. Plus Buckbee normally used an “over the top” number of tension hooks. They rarely “badged” their instruments with their brand-name and much of what they built they supplied to makers and store chains.

The tailpiece is a work of art, delicately engraved in the style of the myriad tailpieces offered by the close to 100 banjo makers of the late 19th century.

Not a museum piece but still remarkable that it remains fully playable well over a century after it was crafted.

Includes a 1950s style cardboard banjo case that has all of its catches and hinges.


You can preview our videos now on Our YouTube Channel!

You can now Visit our Facebook page!

Check out Grant’s Banjo Setup Q&A

Price: $895.00 CAD
  • Model: 5-String Banjo
  • Year: 1895 | Approximate year
  • Finish Natural
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 26/08/2012

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including Soft case
  • Instrument Weight: 2.684lbs 1.22kg
  • Scale Length: 24.724in 628mm
  • Nut Width: 1.255in 31.88mm

Contact The Twelfth Fret Regarding This Item


Guitarists’ Pro Shop
2132 Danforth Avenue
Toronto, Ontario  M4C 1J9 CANADA
○ Sales: +416•423•2132
○ Service: +416•423•1554