Classic Banjos

Superb collection to be sold

We have received several superb banjos to be included in our 24th October 2019 Musical Instrument Auction.

Perhaps the most eye and ear-catching is the Vega III or Vegavox tenor banjo made by the famous Boston Massachusetts company Vega.


Vega Banjo


The Vegavox was a design of banjos the Vega company pioneered in partnership with ‘The King of the Banjo’ Eddie Peabody. Eddie Peabody co-designed two revolutionary banjos during his 50-year career in showbiz banjo playing, the Vegavox being probably the most significant. The banjo is set apart from others in that it features a large deep resonator which is the full height of the instrument body rather than being half the height that traditional banjos feature, this gives the instrument a deep warm sound quite different to the normal banjo tone. The head tension of the Vegavox is also adjustable from the top rather than the bottom like other instruments.

It is not just the sound that attracts attention, the Vega III features an elaborately decorated headstock on top of the warm sunburst finished neck, the ebony fretboard is inlaid with engraved pearl markers. The gold plated hardware finishes off this Boston beauty. The Vegavox included in our October sale is serial numbered A129540 dating it to 1968 which makes it one of the last instruments made before the factory was taken over by the C.F. Martin Company. The Vega III or Vegavox is expected to sell for £1,000 -1500 in our 24th October Musical Instrument auction.


Vega banjo


Not to be left out is another equally pretty Vega banjo the Vegaphone Professional tenor four sting banjo, serial number 84871 dating to the late 1920’s is included in the auction estimate £300-500.


Gibson Mastertone banjo


Another 1920’s classic banjo included in the sale is a Gibson Mastertone tenor circa 1926, bearing the factory number 8164-11. Gibson had only just started on the long and successful production of banjos during the era this instrument was built and it will be one of the first from a revised and improved design of 1925. The Gibson Mastertone is expected to sell for £700-1,000 due to replaced non-original tuners however it offers good value for money as a vintage player’s banjo.


Parker banjo


The sale will also feature two Parker of Penzance plectrum banjos. These rarely seen instruments were hand-built by Alf Parker in his Penzance workshop up until the 1980s. The instruments show top quality craftsmanship featuring exotic tonewoods and unusual sea life inlays probably inspired by Alf Parker’s geographic location. One Parker in excellent condition is expected to sell for £700-1,000 whereas the other is in need of restoration being estimated at £200-400 and would make an excellent project for an enthusiast.

Please contact Chris Large on 01270 623878 or email for more information.



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