Banjo and Banjo Mandolin for Sale

by | Jan 8, 2023

Two quality instruments offered as a set in a sturdy road case. Asking price $2000

A Clifford Essex Five String Banjo and  a Triumph Banjo Mandolin

The BANJO was made by the English maker Clifford Essex & Co and is the Popular Model. The label on the back of the banjo says CLIFFORD ESSEX CO 15a Grafton Street so it was manufactured between 1900 and 1919. Initially it sold for about 5 guineas. It is a well constructed open backed banjo which features a nickel plated 11” hoop with beech lining and a mahogany neck with attractive pearl inlays. A distinguishing feature of these inlays is a Maltese cross inlay in the peghead.

Advertising of the period states: “The beginner who desires a perfect instrument at low cost will find this instrument  the banjo for which he is looking. Accurate in construction and fretting as the most expensive grades and with an attractive appearance and clear, brilliant tone. An instrument which is inexpensive but not cheap.”

The instrument has planetary geared tuning heads installed and a 5th string sliding capo. Both these make accurate tuning easier and quicker. The original vellum was replaced with a USA made Remo Weather King. The frets have no visible wear. A compensated banjo bridge is installed for more accurate tuning.

The BANJO MANDOLIN is stamped The Triumph 225. Triumph was typically the branding of the Salvation Army so was presumably used in Sally bands. It is estimated to have been made soon after WWI. The number is either a serial number or a model number or possibly indicates a date of manufacture May 1922.

It has the same scale length as a mandolin, with 4 courses of strings tuned identically to the violin and mandolin (GDAE). The movable bridge stands on a resonant banjo head 10 1/2 inches in diameter. The original vellum skin is in good condition. It is quite a loud instrument that projects well in band or session settings.

The CASE is strongly constructed vinyl covered plywood with steel edging and fitted with double locks. It is foam lined with cutout spaces for the instruments and for spare strings and such.

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Contact Details

Dave Johnson