FOR SALE -
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I bought this banjo from a man whose uncle had owned it ever since purchasing it from a music shop in Croydon (near London) on the 7th of January 1948. The uncle played the 5-
During the purchase, the uncle asked the shop owner where the banjo had come from? He was told that in either late 1943 or early 1944 an American Serviceman had walked into his shop and asked if he would do him a great favour. Knowing that he would not be able to take his banjo with him when he was sent off to do battle in Europe, he asked the shop owner if he would be prepared to keep his banjo safely for him until at least two years after the war ended, and if he survived the conflict he would definitely return to collect his banjo and give the shop owner something for all his help. If he didn’t return by the end of this period he told the shop owner to sell his banjo and keep the money. The shop owner was happy to agreed to do this and the American Serviceman left this banjo with him.
The war ended in 1945, and the owner of the music shop kept his word over this banjo, but by the new year in 1948 the American Serviceman had still not returned to collect it. So, in January 1948, the shop owner reluctantly decided to put this Gibson banjo up for sale, and it was sold to the uncle on the 7th of January.
The uncle loved his Gibson banjo and kept it for the remainder of his life, playing it for at least a few minutes almost every day. In July 1949 he purchased some picks from Emile Grimshaw’s shop in London and the original advert and original receipt for that sale still survive with this instrument -
Although in many respects this is a sad story, I’m sure that the American Serviceman who owned this banjo before world war two would be very happy to know that his old Gibson banjo had survived right the way through to the present day in such wonderful original condition.
Please Note: Given the rarity of this banjo it is easy to understand why some people will find it very hard to believe that this banjo is what it is, but I can assure everyone that this instrument is definitely a genuine ORIGINAL pre-
JOHN GREY ‘COLOGRAVURE’ Plectrum Banjo (c.1928). John Grey’s higher order models were great sounding banjos and this is no exception. Straight neck & no wear to frets or to fingerboard. Beautifully inlaid ebony peghead & fingerboard. Gold-
JOHN GREY ‘AUTOCRAT’ Tenor Banjo (c.1929). Another fantastic example of a top John Grey banjo. Straight neck & no wear to frets or to fingerboard. This model was unusual in that the pot, scalloped bezel and top-
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Over 45 years of Experience and Expertise with Ukuleles and Banjo Ukes
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