Here for sale is this vintage banjo that I inherited and have been trying to sell. At first I contacted a local banjo collector who has been pestering me for over 20 years about finding him banjo's.
I found his business card and gave him a call he told me it was a really nice banjo and if he owned it he wouldn't take less than 5K for it (but he left out the fact that that it has a replacement neck) , so that being said I started to try to peddle it around to banjo collectors and in doing so I found out a few things about banjo's , four string banjos became unpopular and many banjo company's did what they had to do to accommodate the market and they made five string banjo's out of four stringers by replacing the neck This was not uncommon and any serious banjo collector will know this. I contacted several reputable banjo collectors (one told me that I might still get 5K from the right person even with the replaced neck) and I heard the same story, some called it a replacement neck and others referred to it as a reproduction neck. It was replaced in the 1920's probably by Vega so now you know the rest of the story. I hope you can see all the numbers on it to determine its exact age and model. Feel free to ask any questions and make a offer if you wish.A collector hs straightened me out on a few things about the banjo and it has matching serial numbers. That is a beautiful banjo.
I've been collecting and playing Vega banjos since the early 60's and have a couple of comments that I hope you take as constructive. The neck is most likely of relatively recent manufacture, as repro 5 string necks didn't really start appearing until the late 50's/early 60's during the folk and bluegrass boom, two genres which almost always feature 5 string banjos. 4 string banjos, both tenor (17 & 19 frets) and plectrum style (22 frets) were popular in the late teens and 20's as they were played in jazz and dance bands.
I know of no jazz band that featured a 5 string banjo, except perhaps some in the teens that may have occasionally featured one. I played in a jazz band in the 60's and we had two or three 4 string banjos, depending upon who showed up to play (including me).I don't mean to offend you by correcting you but thought you should know. Does the serial number on the dowel stick match the one on the inside of the rim? If so, whoever made the neck used the original dowel stick, which is good, although it appears that he may have shaved the dowel stick in the collar area to allow it to fit better... Hard to say without examining it in person. Often times replacement necks are better made than the originals, and since the 70's replacement necks themselves have become an art form as the skills of the makers have improved over the years.
The vintage banjo market has tailed off in the last ten years, but I believe your price is fair considering the high grade neck inlays and heel carving, and the marquetry around the base of the rim. Good luck with your sale. The item "Vintage 1920's vega 5 string banjo Boston Mass.
Original hard shell case" is in sale since Sunday, January 26, 2020. This item is in the category "Musical Instruments & Gear\Vintage Musical Instruments\Vintage String\Folk & World\Banjos". The seller is "lumpyslures" and is located in York, Maine. This item can be shipped to United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Jamaica, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Viet nam, Uruguay.