1899 SS Stewart "Special Thoroughbred" 5 String Banjo
A 5 String SS Stewart Banjo manufactured in Philadelphia. The Thoroughbred Model incorporated the adjustable neck fastner and was a trade mark banjo for Stewart. This piece is in very good condition and has likely had some restoration. it features a natural varnish finish, spunover rim, carved cherrywood neck with ebony fingerboard. The nut has been replaced. Comes in a newer tweed hard shell case.
From the collection of Ben Schubert.
Samuel S. Stewart first made banjos in 1878. His adoption of the "silver wrapped rim" (for which, in a speech and later in a self-publsihed booklet titled The Banjo Philosophically he credited the devlopment to two Troy, NY banjo makers, William Farham and Albert Wilson) set him apart in the early years before such rims became most common. The patented heavy metal neck fastener was introduced in 1887. In 1894 or 1895 the adjustable neck fastener replaced the earlier, non-adjustable one, on all banjos listed at $ 20 and above, although in the 1896 catalog, both are shown, as is the trade mark for the Thoroughbred banjos which was probably in use for at least 10 years before it was registered. In January 1898 Stewart joined with George Bauer, who had been in business himself manufacturing guitars and mandolins from circa 1894.
Specs: - Model: Special Thoroughbred - Year: 1898-1899 - Head: Goat skin signed Joe B Rogers - Body Wood: Cherry wood - Neck Material: Cherry wood - Fingerboard: Ebony - Tuners: Original with ivory buttons - Fingerboard Radius: Flat - Nut Width: 1 5/16” - Bridge Spacing: 1 3/4 - Scale Length: 27 1/4” - Size: 11 1/2” rim - Weight: 5 lbs. 1 oz. - Serial #: 68243 - Case: Hard case