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John Grey & Sons "Dulcetta" 5 String Banjo 12" Rim

Price: $650.00 USD

Here is a cool John Grey & Son's Dulcetta 5 String banjo from what believe to be the 1920s. It is a large banjo, the rim is about 12 1/4" and 2 3/8" deep. The scale is 27 1/4" long.

The head is a "period" calf skin. The rim seems slightly out of round. Because of the size it might be best to stick with calf on this one which would be no problem to fit a new one. The head on it seems to have some life left and was high quality when new (there is one pin hole near the rim edge but it does not seem to be causing any problems.

The neck looks like a combination of walnut, mahogany, and sycamore. Laminated from multiple pieces, it is one of the coolest looking necks I have seen. The fingerboard is a nice thick piece of ebony as is the peg head overlay. Pearl position markers are all present.

The hardware is high quality (it is a English banjo after all) with a cool scalloped stretcher band (another of my favorite features). There are some mismatched hooks and nuts. The tailpiece is a neat knockoff of a Stewart Common Sense with a pearl detail where SSS used a rosette.

The rim is tastefully engraved as is the armrest.

The original friction pegs work excellent with nylon strings. One cool feature is the 4th string peg. it has a built in "clutch" of sorts. The tuner is threaded in two pieces so that when you tune down the peg loosens to reduce wear on the hole and make tuning easier. When this banjo was built, the only common "alternate" tuning was raising and lowering the 4th string a full step. It works well.

It is a 100 year old banjo, there are scratches to the back of the neck and at the side near the 5th peg. The metal clad rim is dull (I don't polish my banjos as it removes metal) and there is some tarnish marks/stains.

The rim has some age damage. My best description is that the inner decorative veneer has shrunk and cracked all over (I tried to show that in the photos). Mark Ralston glued it down using hide glue and patched some slivers of wood that were missing. There was also some delamination of the rim plys that he repaired with hide glue (it was only found when I removed the head for cleaning). The repairs are solid and should cause no further problems.

The reason I am selling? Fact is, since I got my Gariepy Van Eps model it is really all I play now. This is a cool banjo (and eye candy) that should be played.

Will be shipped inside of a period correct English banjo case that is in poor condition. It could be repaired by restitching all the seams though.

Sold as is with no return so please ask all the questions you can think of.

Thanks, Joel Hooks



Interested? Contact Seller to arrange purchase


Shipping: $50 USPS Priority Mail (will refund difference if less) to the Contiguous USA

Posted By: Joel Hooks
United States, Hollis, NH, 03049

Condition of Banjo: Used - Good Condition

Type: 5-String Openback, Brand: John Gray

Ad Status: Active, #76750, viewed 303 times


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