10/06/2015

1920s Wildrekinde-McWhirter Artwork Fancy Tenor Banjo




This very-cool tenor banjo is an upscaled variety of the type I'm familiar with along the lines of Slingerland, Concertone, and other names that I have a feeling were perhaps made by Regal, though the headstock reminds me of Lange-made Stewarts. The best bit, aside from all the pearl bling, is the artwork by koreloy wildrekinde-mcwhirter (a mouthful). It was drawn by hand using a crow-quill pen and India ink -- this information was provided by the artist.

Work included a fret level/dress, addition of a replacement neck brace, bridge, and general setup. It's strung for standard CGDA and has a good, snappy sound. These are built with a simple hoop-style tonering and have an abundance of overtones because of it and so I tend to pop a small bit of overtone-muting foam under the head to clean up the tone.



Wood is typical for this style of banjo -- multi-ply maple rim with birdseye/figured veneer on the outer and inner edges, a two-piece slightly-figured maple neck with center-strip, and ebonized pearwood headstock veneer and fretboard. They're finished "natural" when made but over time the finish yellows to this nice buttery color.


This is pearl inlay with silver piping. Original bone nut.


The short 21" scale means this works well for a melody instrument as well as a chordal one.


There's some chip-out of the board right near the neck joint but it's stable.











The tuners are original friction pegs with ivoroid knobs.



Both the neck and dowel have a bit of figure to them.


This was missing its neck brace (and is still missing its heel-cap), though it had a hole drilled for the crossbar that goes through a neckbrace. I cobbled this together from parts in my bin and it works well.






The birdseye veneer and rim-footing is nice on this'n. All the hardware is original, too, save the bridge, tailpiece, and neck brace (the latter two are period).


Loop or ball-end strings are easily loaded.

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