FOR SALE -
*1. In the list below, remember to click on the blue text to access the photo page.
**2. To start an automatic slide show of all the photos on the photos page, go to the the bottom left-
BACON No.2A Banjo Uke (1926). ‘The Bacon Banjo Company Inc.’ was founded by Frederick J. Bacon in 1906 but the majority of his instruments were made by other companies until 1920 when his company moved to Groton, Connecticut. Here, at long last, he was able to produce his own instruments to the high standards that he wanted, and in 1922 he was joined by banjo designer David L. Day from the Vega company. Fred Bacon & David Day went on to produce a range of some of the finest banjos, mandolins and banjo ukes ever made, some of which continued to be named ‘Bacon’, whilst others were called ‘Bacon & Day’ or ‘B&D’. Best of the lot were their ‘Silver Bell’ range of instruments introduced in 1927. In about 1925 the Bacon company introduced their Style No.1 and Style No.2 banjo ukes which were made of mahogany and flame maple respectively, but whilst the Style No.1 sold for $27 the Style No.2 was a far superior instrument and sold for just over twice the price at $55. To put this into perspective, $55 was ten percent dearer than the top-
With the serial number 19855 stamped onto the perch-
BACON & DAY No.3A ‘SILVER BELL’ Banjo Uke (c.1927). The rarest and one of the most desirable banjo ukes ever made, and this wonderful example was once part of the amazing and magnificent collection of Akira Tsumura in Japan. With a serial number of 20737 it dates to late 1926 or early 1927.
During the period of manufacture of this banjo uke (the late 1920’s) most American musicians considered Bacon & Day to be the finest banjo maker of the time. They were based in Groton, Connecticut, and they produced a variety of banjos, mandolin-
The Bacon & Day Company was established in 1921 as a partnership between David Day (who had been plant manager of the Vega Banjo Company) and Fred Bacon. Prior to his association with Day, Bacon had banjos made for him by Vega, and by Rettburg & Lange. While these early Bacon-
The only change to the original specification of this instrument is that the neck has been lowered in order that the top of the fingerboard is level with the top of the ‘pot’ where the neck joins the body. Originally, these instruments had a short length of fingerboard that extended over the top of the ‘pot’, which gives a raised playing action ideal for playing with a plectrum. For most modern players and British players in particular, this is most undesirable because modern finger styles of playing music on a banjo uke (including the older ‘Formby’ style technique) become very difficult with a ‘high’ playing action. Therefore, most modern players prefer the arms on ‘Bacon’ and ‘Bacon & Day’ banjo ukes to be lowered. This modification has been properly carried out, and in my opinion it in no way detracts from the value of this instrument, indeed it may well enhance it by making it appeal to a wider market due to its suitability to modern styles of play. Many American banjo ukes have to be modified in a similar way in order to enhance their playability in today’s style, and such modifications have been commonplace and have definitely served to enhance their values.
This particular instrument was purchased by its current owner from John Bernunzio, a long-
DALLAS ‘D’ MODEL Banjo Uke (c.1941). This is a truly excellent example of these popular and well-
DALLAS ‘E’ MODEL Banjo Uke (c.1942). This is a nice top-
JEDSON Banjo Uke (c.1928). This lovely little banjo uke was made in the USA by ‘Slingerland’ and was their No.20 ‘May-
JOHN GREY & SONS ‘ROY SMECK SUPER MODEL’ Banjo Uke (c.1930). Roy Smeck was an American musical ‘superstar’ of the 1920’s and 1930’s. He became known as the ‘Wizard of the Strings’ and was an amazing virtuoso performer on a number of different instruments. This instrument is a rare top-
LUDWIG Banjo Uke (1929). Pyralin Peghead model. £4,950. SOLD
LUDWIG ‘WENDELL HALL PROFESSIONAL’ Banjo Uke (c.1927). Fantastic sounding and with a lovely playing action, this is another fine example of these magnificent old banjo ukes (ninety years old and still going strong!). Straight neck with just a tiny trace of wear to the first two frets and only a genuinely tiny amount of minor wear to the fingerboard (between strings two and three at the first position). With vintage hard shaped case and Ludwig badge. Peghead repaired and re-
REGAL ‘LE DOMINO’ Banjo Uke (c.1931). These great little banjo ukes were originally made by ‘J. R. Stewart & Co.’, but the company was bought by ‘Regal’ in 1930 after which production continued for only a very short time. Unusually, not only has this example got all of its little ‘domino’ transfers intact but most of them remain unblemished. Original tuning pegs and headstock decal, and original w/b/w nut. Straight neck with no wear to the frets and only some minor flaking on the ebonised fingerboard. Binding along sides of neck and around the back edge and bottom side edge of the base of the resonator. ‘Dominoes’ on fingerboard, around the side of the body and in a ring towards the middle of the resonator where they have a gold-
WILL VAN ALLEN Long-
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Over 45 years of Experience and Expertise with Ukuleles and Banjo Ukes
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John Croft, Glan Tanat, Llanyblodwel, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 8NQ, England.
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