c.1905 Bruno "The Vernon" Banjo Mandolin

Here's a picture from last spring for this spring! I sure do miss the little flowers and the clover, that's for sure... but at least it's getting green again up here "in de moontins." This is a very cool banjo-mandolin that I think ended up being shipped to Cyprus. It's more-or-less original, being a mixup of parts from two of the same model from around the same time. Though it bears no label, it originally had a badge on the headstock, and I've seen this type often sold by the New York distributor Bruno under their "The Vernon" brand.

It's a petite banjo-mando of the old style, having a small banjo-uke sized spunover rim with a raised wooden tonering. The scale length is typical, though: 13" -- regular for the time.

And here it is face-forward.

And the stern...

Original bakelite pegs cleaned up very nicely and functioned well.

Headstock front. New plastic nut. Rosewood veneer, too.

Ebony board with pearl dots, original frets, a bit beat up.

I installed a new thick-skin head which had an almost purple cast to it which looked really cool. Tailpiece is a typical mandolin-style type. The bridge is a 3/4" 5-string Grover banjo bridge which I've recut.


The hardware turned out nice and gleaming on this little guy.

Simple neck brace.

Pot detail.

Pot detail: see that purple hue to the skin? The thicker new skin helped tone down some of the really brutal harshness typical of banjo-mandolins. The extra-light strings helped, too. This one had a really, really nice "clop-clop" or "horsey" sound to it but still had plenty of volume to bite through guitars or whatnot. Really enjoyed the tone.


Back of the pot again.


music lessons said...

i haven't tried playing this instrument..i wanna learn how it works..it looks pretty cool..

Nickname unavailable said...

wow, it has a tail-piece!

EdfromGoloka said...

i got one. but neds some adjusts. later i send pix to you.

Cool Hand Luke said...

Good evening: I recently acquired "The Vernon" banjo mandolin from an antique mall. It is in excellent condition considering the age of the instrument. I will have to install a new calf skin head, strings, and clean up the German Silver frame, but all of this is minor. I look forward to hearing this fine instrument and I appreciate your web sight for the historical data on "The Vernon" banjo mandolin.