Rare AA Farland Artists Grand Tenor (once owned by John Hartford?)
Price: $1,699.00 USD
This is a good condition, extremely rare AA Farland Artists Grand Tenor Banjo (circa 1910) with 12 1/2" Head and original case that was allegedly once owned by Mr John Hartford. Everything but the tailpiece appears original - the "harp" tailpiece seems to have been put on in the 40's according to Mr George Gruhn. I will, however, include an original "no-knot" tailpiece in the deal should you wish to swap out the tailpieces. The head is calf-skin (not the original), and all of the hooks and nuts are intact - though it appears some were replaced over the years.
Here's the story...
I bought it from a luthier in SC who had acquired it several years ago from a performer friend who had fallen on hard times and needed to sell it. That performer has an old profile here on Banjo Hangout - and in her profile is a pic of her with the Banjo and the caption "This banjo was once owned be the late great John Hartford".
She told the luthier that she had taken it to Gruhn's in Nashville to have it appraised. Allegedly, Mr Gruhn recognized the banjo and called Jamie Hartford. Jamie evidently said it was indeed one of the five Farlands his father owned. It was of course, not used on any of his recordings, as it is a tenor. But it is a well-known fact that John Hartford had collected several Farland's and liked their "woody" sound.
I really took a chance when I bought this (and drove 500 miles round trip to get it) - but I thought it was an interesting story, and I could see that this banjo was the "little brother" of the AA Farland Artist Grand 5-String banjo that John is known to have used.
But, that's not the end of the story. I decided to contact Mr George Gruhn in Nashville and have him officially appraise the banjo. Mr Gruhn, apart from arguably being the most recognized evaluator of guitars and other related American instruments in the world, was also the executor of John Hartford's Estate. I sent him many photos of the instrument (some were used in this ad), and a photo of the female performer holding the very same instrument. He and I also corresponded via emails discussing the banjo. From that, he was able to provide an appraisal. The appraisal states that he remembers the woman who brought this banjo to him and recalls her saying that she got if from John Hartford.
While he does not recollect contacting Jamie Hartford about this instrument, it is such a rare instrument that he states in the appraisal, "While I cannot absolutely confirm that this instrument was owned by John Hartford, I recall having sold an instrument like this to him, such that IT IS VERY LIKELY that this is the same instrument he purchased from me many years ago."
I will of course, include the Gruhn appraisal with this banjo. (see pic of appraisal) - keep in mind that the appraisal value DOES NOT take into consideration the value of it being previously owned by Mr Hartford. But, I am confident enough to post a pic of the appraisal as I believe in full disclosure and the value of this banjo. I feel certain that it will only increase in value as the years go by.
Anyways, I'm selling this wonderful banjo because 1) I need the funds, and 2) I don't play the tenor banjo.
As this is a 100 yr old intrument, and one of a kind - I WILL NOT SHIP, but would be willing to drive up to 100 miles from Macon, GA to deliver or meet you.
$1699 cash or paypal. Feel free to call me at 478-361-9497 for more info. NO TRADE OFFERS PLEASE.
Shipping: Pick up only - will deliver within 150 mile radius of Macon , GA
Posted By: starhopper
United States, Kathleen, GA,
Condition of Banjo: Used - Good Condition
Ad Status: Active, #37254, viewed 4665 times