John Croft, Glan Tanat, Llanyblodwel, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 8NQ, England.

Tel: (+44) 01691 828850

Email: theukuleleman.com@gmail.com

1001 BANJOS - THE TSUMURA COLLECTION

(Published by Kodansha International, 1983)


I have on offer two second-hand examples of the best book about Banjos ever published, containing a wealth of information and wonderful colour photographs. 1001 Banjos - The Tsumura Collection contains 904 pages of unsurpassed information and photographs, and together with their presentation box weigh about a stone (6.35kg!!!). There are also around 3,000 colour photographs of Banjos and Banjo related instruments. This huge book was written by Akira Tsumura, who was at the time the head of a large Japanese pharmaceutical company as well as the World’s biggest collector of Banjos. The only publication of this book was by Kodansha International in 1993 and when it was new it cost about £300 to buy in the UK. Akira Tsumura had become interested in Banjos and over a long period he sought out the finest examples that he could find, adding each of them to his collection. Eventually, he was persuaded to produce a book about his collection, and this fabulous book was the result.


The colour photographs are absolutely magnificent, providing vivid details of the instruments. The whole book is printed using the finest quality paper and it has been bound using the finest quality white leather, which has been embossed on the front cover and which has gilded text and embossing on the cover of the spline. The top edge of each page is gilded and the book is protected by an attractive and substantial printed dust jacket. The size of a very large Encyclopaedia, this book comes in an 11" x 14" x 4" presentation brown hardcover box with gilt writing and embossing on the front cover and on the spline.


This book is universally recognised as the best book about Banjos ever produced - or ever likely to be produced, and it contains detailed chapters and thousands of coloured photographs covering all of the following topics;


Minstrel-Era Banjos (including One-String Banjos, Coconut Banjos, Half-clad Fingerboard Banjos, Metal-clad Banjos, Minstrel-style Banjos & Tunbridge Ware Banjos).

Late Victorian English Banjos,

English Zither Banjos,

English Presentation Banjos,

American Classic Banjos,

S.S. Stewart,

French Banjos,

French Mandolin Banjos,

Ukulele Banjos,

Bowl Mandolins.

Four-String Jazz Age Banjos (including Bacon & Day, Epiphone, Gibson, Gretsch, Iucci, Leedy, Ludwig, Majestic, Paramount (William L. Lange), Paragon (Clifford Essex & Son), Slingerland, Stromberg, Trujo (Truett & George), Vega, Washburn (Lyon & Healy), and Weymann). Banjos Back In Town (New Banjo Makers).

Gibson Custom Instruments.


Also included is much historical information including notes on Banjo Construction & Nomenclature, Serial Numbers & Price Lists, and at the start of each chapter there are full details about what is to follow, including information about the the major companies and the banjos that they produced.


* This is a book the like of which had never been published previously nor is ever likely to be published again. It is an extremely important reference book that no-one interested in Banjos or their related family of instruments should be without. Examples can fetch up to £2,000 secondhand market, but the two I have for sale are on offer for £800 and £900 respectively.


Both books are in excellent condition they come complete with their original hard covers (showing some minor wear along the edges) but the more expensive one comes complete with a very rare (limited edition) pack of Akira Tsumura Banjo Playing Cards together with a colour poster showing multiple ornate banjo headstocks and signed by Akira Tsumura himself .


To enjoy the photos below, go to the bottom left-hand corner of the frame below and click the ‘Forward’ button. The photographs will then automatically scroll forward.




























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