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Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert

Charley Noble 21 Sep 01 - 03:35 PM
Steve in Idaho 21 Sep 01 - 04:39 PM
GUEST 21 Sep 01 - 05:06 PM
Deckman 21 Sep 01 - 05:21 PM
Charley Noble 23 Sep 01 - 10:59 AM
Charley Noble 25 Sep 01 - 02:44 PM
Frailin Gill 25 Sep 01 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Les B 25 Sep 01 - 05:30 PM
DonMeixner 25 Sep 01 - 05:59 PM
Charley Noble 26 Sep 01 - 06:22 PM
Charley Noble 02 Oct 01 - 08:08 AM
Charley Noble 06 Oct 01 - 09:16 PM
Charley Noble 11 Oct 01 - 02:21 PM
Charley Noble 23 Feb 02 - 02:49 PM
Charley Noble 24 Feb 02 - 10:27 AM
Bill in Alabama 24 Feb 02 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,Lynn Koch 24 Feb 02 - 08:42 PM
Charley Noble 25 Feb 02 - 08:20 AM
GUEST,Ernest 26 Feb 02 - 02:08 AM
Charley Noble 26 Feb 02 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,Ernest 27 Feb 02 - 02:21 AM
cobber 27 Feb 02 - 06:02 AM
Steve Latimer 27 Feb 02 - 08:05 AM
Charley Noble 27 Feb 02 - 08:14 AM
Charley Noble 01 Mar 02 - 08:43 AM
Charley Noble 02 Mar 02 - 09:39 AM
Charley Noble 03 Mar 02 - 04:46 PM
Charley Noble 05 Mar 02 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,cobber 06 Mar 02 - 01:04 AM
Charley Noble 06 Mar 02 - 07:48 AM
Steve Latimer 06 Mar 02 - 08:14 AM
Charley Noble 07 Mar 02 - 07:45 AM
Steve Latimer 07 Mar 02 - 08:26 AM
Charley Noble 08 Mar 02 - 03:21 PM
Charley Noble 13 Apr 02 - 05:21 PM
Charley Noble 10 May 02 - 07:26 PM
Charley Noble 15 May 02 - 05:41 PM
Jeri 15 May 02 - 06:45 PM
Charley Noble 15 May 02 - 07:39 PM
Jeri 15 May 02 - 07:56 PM
Charley Noble 15 May 02 - 08:01 PM
Charley Noble 19 May 02 - 10:12 AM
Charley Noble 20 May 02 - 08:17 AM
Charley Noble 02 Jun 02 - 10:23 AM
Charley Noble 03 Jun 02 - 08:57 PM
Charley Noble 12 Jun 02 - 10:48 AM
Charley Noble 27 Jun 02 - 09:44 AM
Steve Latimer 27 Jun 02 - 10:41 AM
Charley Noble 27 Jun 02 - 04:16 PM
Charley Noble 29 Jun 02 - 09:18 PM
Charley Noble 16 Oct 02 - 11:31 AM
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Charley Noble 14 Jan 03 - 08:06 AM
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Charley Noble 05 Sep 04 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,HRoland 20 Sep 04 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,Phil Wood 27 Sep 04 - 09:02 PM
GUEST,Ptarmigan 13 Apr 08 - 11:04 AM
Charley Noble 13 Apr 08 - 11:43 AM
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Charley Noble 14 Apr 08 - 02:01 PM
GUEST 17 Apr 08 - 05:07 AM
GUEST 17 Apr 08 - 05:20 AM
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Charley Noble 17 Apr 08 - 08:22 AM
GUEST 17 Apr 08 - 12:32 PM
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GUEST,jeff 30 Mar 09 - 06:14 PM
Big Mick 30 Mar 09 - 06:41 PM
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Charley Noble 30 Mar 09 - 09:26 PM
GUEST,jeff 08 Apr 09 - 06:41 PM
Charley Noble 08 Apr 09 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,Bob D 12 Jul 09 - 01:24 PM
Charley Noble 12 Jul 09 - 01:43 PM
Charley Noble 30 Jul 09 - 08:49 AM
fretless 30 Jul 09 - 09:21 AM
Charley Noble 30 Jul 09 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Gunnar Wiskoff 06 Jan 10 - 11:00 AM
Art Thieme 06 Jan 10 - 05:54 PM
Art Thieme 06 Jan 10 - 06:24 PM
Charley Noble 06 Jan 10 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,zach 11 Jan 10 - 10:37 PM
Charley Noble 12 Jan 10 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Elisabeth 27 Jan 10 - 11:16 PM
Charley Noble 28 Jan 10 - 08:18 AM
olddude 28 Jan 10 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Elisabeth 28 Jan 10 - 11:23 PM
Charley Noble 29 Jan 10 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Elisabeth 29 Jan 10 - 09:43 PM
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GUEST,Elisabeth 30 Jan 10 - 09:19 PM
Charley Noble 31 Jan 10 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,Elisabeth 31 Jan 10 - 07:41 PM
Leadfingers 31 Jan 10 - 08:25 PM
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stallion 22 Feb 10 - 11:29 AM
Charley Noble 22 Feb 10 - 02:31 PM
VPI 23 Feb 10 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Elisabeth Andel 24 Feb 10 - 12:59 AM
GUEST, W Timmons 07 Mar 10 - 07:27 PM
Charley Noble 08 Mar 10 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,dhullinger 09 Apr 10 - 04:22 AM
Charley Noble 09 Apr 10 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,W Timmons 25 May 10 - 11:20 AM
matt milton 25 May 10 - 12:20 PM
Ernest 25 May 10 - 03:21 PM
Charley Noble 25 May 10 - 08:51 PM
Charley Noble 28 May 10 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,W timmons 29 May 10 - 06:10 PM
Charley Noble 29 May 10 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,Alex Francis 06 Jun 10 - 01:03 PM
Charley Noble 06 Jun 10 - 03:17 PM
GUEST 12 Jun 10 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,Audra 18 Jun 10 - 11:45 AM
Amos 18 Jun 10 - 12:00 PM
Charley Noble 18 Jun 10 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Audra 18 Jun 10 - 07:44 PM
GUEST 18 Jun 10 - 07:51 PM
Leadfingers 18 Jun 10 - 08:10 PM
Charley Noble 18 Jun 10 - 11:24 PM
GUEST 19 Jun 10 - 04:37 AM
Charley Noble 30 Jun 10 - 01:10 PM
GUEST 11 Jul 10 - 06:04 PM
Charley Noble 11 Jul 10 - 08:18 PM
GUEST 13 Jul 10 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,dhullinger 19 Jul 10 - 08:19 PM
Charley Noble 19 Jul 10 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,Alex Francis 24 Jul 10 - 01:37 PM
Charley Noble 24 Jul 10 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Alex Francis 16 Sep 10 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,Brad Walker 26 Nov 10 - 01:32 PM
Charley Noble 27 Nov 10 - 09:40 AM
Charley Noble 05 Jan 11 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Scott Malthouse 09 Jan 11 - 10:17 AM
Charley Noble 09 Jan 11 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Scott 09 Jan 11 - 10:20 PM
Charley Noble 31 Jan 11 - 10:42 PM
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Charley Noble 01 Aug 11 - 08:51 AM
Charley Noble 04 Aug 11 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Roxane 13 Aug 11 - 02:55 PM
Charley Noble 13 Aug 11 - 04:25 PM
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Crowhugger 06 Sep 11 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,Ricky MAC 18 Oct 11 - 08:32 AM
Charley Noble 18 Oct 11 - 08:45 AM
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Charley Noble 18 Oct 11 - 05:10 PM
Charley Noble 08 Feb 12 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,guest 10 Aug 12 - 10:55 PM
Charley Noble 11 Aug 12 - 11:28 AM
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Subject: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 03:35 PM

There's a lovely S.S. Stewart 5-string banjo being auctioned on E-Bay right now, too rich for my blood (over $1100) but check it out. I would guess that it's the Orchestra Model No. 3, about 1894 vintage according to my 1986 reprinted catalogue. Do a search for "Stewart Banjo" and it should come right up. Lovely inlay pattern and mosaic wood pattern inside rim. Drool, drool!


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 04:39 PM

I did not know that S.S. Stewart instruments were worth anything! I have an old Banjolin made by this outfit. I figured it was just a wall hanger. Peace - Steve


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 05:06 PM

Click here


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 05:21 PM

I was a teenager (yes, I actually was one once, in another century) when I first ran into S.S. Stewarts. I learned then that they were the open backed (non-bluegrass) banjo of choice. Always a sweet, gentle, mountain sound. I wish I could afford one today. You can always shove a rolled up sock between the head and the brace and produce a muted sound that won't wake the children in the middle of the night ... which is when ALL dedicated banjo players practice ... right? CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Sep 01 - 10:59 AM

Guest - thanks for the blue clicky. Stewarts are generally fine instruments. Even there more inexpensive ones are worth looking at, although if the neck is twisted or bowed you're looking at a wall decoration or spare parts. They were generally set up for gut strings and one sould be careful about mounting heavier steel strings. Mine does fine with medium gaugue as should the one listed on E-Bay. Unfortunately, they ones that are fancier are avidly sought by non-player collectors but a few weeks ago a well-made Thoroughbred went for about $750.

I'm not sure what the best bidding technique is for E-Bay. There's frequently a flurry of last minute bids and if you're doing that you seldom get a second chance.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 02:44 PM

One more day to go on this auction; bid up to $1125.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Frailin Gill
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 03:32 PM

I have one thats been in my family since about 1900. When I was learning to play I used to stuff my jumper in the back so I could practise without disturbing my flatmates who were sudying for exams. I'd no idea either that it was worth much, even though I think it sounds lovely.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Les B
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 05:30 PM

I know that old Stewarts sound good, but I've just got to say this (re - the blue clicky link) that's a really garish headstock & neck !!!

I've seen several old banjos lately that a local collector has and it seems that there was a period in the 1870's to 1890's when the inlay work was very, um, well, "busy". The more mother of pearl, or whatever, in whatever shape, that could be stuck on the neck, the better. Circles and squares, like on the above banjo, seemed to be the favorite. It reminds me of the old "find the Popes in the pizza," skits on Saturday Night Live TV !

Has anyone ever done a treatise on the development of the art of inlay patterns or traced them historically ? If so, please reference.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 05:59 PM

This banjo is of a type that a friend of mine called Confetti banjos. He had at one time six of these old Stewarts in just about new condition. He collected them over the years, usually buying or trading them from students who wanted to play tenor banjo. The last one he had went to a Japanese collector who paid over $1,100 Americain for it about 15 years ago.

I played it befoe it left the country. It was nice but not as nice as his Vega Tubaphone.

Don


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 06:22 PM

Gone for $1804! Well, it did look sharp but I think it went for much more than it was worth; I think $1200 should have done it.

I got my brother a S. S. Steward Thoroughbred (which he still has) with similar inlay pattern, plus an urn on the peghead, for $55 back in 1964; the owner was only interested in 4-string banjoes and the Stewart was taking up space; I was expecting to pay about $500 back then...Sigh!


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:08 AM

There's a new Stewart beauty on E-Bay now, even prettier than the last one, sitting at $1200 with the reserve met. The Champion Model was one of their best, and a Number 3 was the best grade of that model. Here's what the seller says:

"SS Stewart 5 String Banjo with marquetry and mother of pearl inlay. Also German silver wire inlay in peghead. This is a Champion model grade 3. Serial # 8280. Rim dia. 11". Has original tailpiece, see pics. Original brackets and shoes. No fret wear. Fantastic sound. Fantastic action."

Sigh! Just look at the inlay and the marquet work...


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 09:16 PM

The Champion model S.S. Stewart went for $1526. What a beauty...The seller picked it up from Elderly Instruments for much less.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 02:21 PM

Well, now there's another S.S. Stewart worth looking at. It's a 1894 No. 1, unknown model, with nice inlay and pretty much in original condition judging by the ornate friction pegs. The pot is probably around 11 inches in diameter. No. 1 models don't have carving on the neck, and lack the veneer strips under the fingerboard which strengthen the neck (essential if you're planning to use steel strings on these puppies. It's currently bid up to $600 and met its reserve and really shouldn't go for much more. Nice digital images. I'm amazed that people are still digging these instruments up in basically original condition. Are there no other S.S. Stewart banjo watchers out there?


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 02:49 PM

Well, there's another nice S.S.Stewart listed on E-Bay. This one has the highest level inlay pattern on the fingerboard that I've ever seen. It was manufactured in the 1890's for sale by Sears Roebuck under the Acme label but appears to be the real thing. It's currently being bid at about $800 and has met its reserve. It should go for well over $1500. The seller also provides a nice link to a S.S. Stewart website for more information.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Feb 02 - 10:27 AM

Bid on the Acme/Stewart is now up to $975. Bet it reaches $2000. Any takers?


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 24 Feb 02 - 05:39 PM

That's quite similar to the Stewart I play in my shows. I was told that it was the 1893 'Acme University Glee' model. Fingerboard and headstock inlay are the same, but carving on the heel is slightly different. It's a great banjo.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Lynn Koch
Date: 24 Feb 02 - 08:42 PM

I have a tenor banjo which I purchased second hand at a local dealer (Ithaca Guitar Works). It's not pretty by any means...no inlay, and even the name on the headstock is painted on. It's a Kalamazoo, which I understand (correct me if I'm wrong) is a war-time Gibson made from less than ideal woods. The curious thing about it, though, is that the bridge has SS Stewart stamped on the side. It's possible that the bridge was scarfed from a defunct banjo, though it appears too that Gibson did indeed make some banjos for SS Stewart. The head is natural hide, too, so that's gotta date it back a bit, doesn't it? Any clues here, folks???


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Feb 02 - 08:20 AM

Stewart Banjos began making tenor banjos in the early 1900's. It is possible that the one you have was manufactured by another company based on one of their models. Unless it is one of the more elaborate ones, it's unlikely that it would be worth much money. The composition of the head itself is not necessarily an indication of age, and the bridge may, indeed, have been scarfed from a real Stewart. If you periodically check E-Bay (search for Stewart Banjo) you should see a number of tenor banjos going for relatively modest prices, $100 to $200.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Ernest
Date: 26 Feb 02 - 02:08 AM

Hello Charlie Noble,

can you tell me the source of your information about S.S.Stewart tenor banjos? I am interested in this because I got one too, but it might be older than the one described by Lynn Koch. The looks and the number (according to the information about production numbers on the mugwumps-site) indicates a production before 1900. Until now I have only seen pictures of Stewart tenors similar to Lynn Kochs (if all). Has anyone heard of forgeries or is there information of the Stewart company altering their other models to tenors?

Thanks in advance

Ernest


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Feb 02 - 08:09 AM

Ernest -

My base document is a reprint of a 1896 S.S.Stewart catalog reprinted by Mugwumps back in 1973 in which there are no 4-string banjos listed. A variety of 20th century ones do surface on E-Bay that do not appear to demonstrate the quality of construction of what I've seen from the 1890's. That's not to say that Stewart didn't produce an occasional 4-string banjo during this period but if they did so it would be an extremely rare banjo. What does your look like?


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Ernest
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 02:21 AM

Charlie Noble -

thanks for the information. My banjo is a "Universal Favourite" model, it looks very much like the pre-1900 Stewarts pictured at Mugwumps or in the book by Gura and Bollmann. It has the shamrock carvings at the base of the neck, which are also shown at Mugwumps, and a few inlays on the neck.

Ernest


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: cobber
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 06:02 AM

I've got a couple of Stewarts here in Australia, both bought from second hand furniture shops. The Orchestra cost me $75 Australian (half that to get the US equivalent) which I thought was a pretty good buy. The carving on the heel was the signature of the maker. We have a guy here who has all the old Stewart information and I checked it out a while back. Apparently the individual craftsmen were given a lot of freedom as long as they met the standard. Mine has a lovely heel carved with a floral design that really shows the maker's art. Apparently, the company that bought the rights to Stewarts (sorry, I can't remember which now)can still be contacted and if you tell them the serial number they will send you the details of the maker etc. Can anyone else add to this. Sorry folks, but the other banjo is a Lady Stewart. I was in a junk shop and saw a carved leather case on a high shelf so I asked how much. "Six dollars" he says so I gave him the money and he got the ladder. I opened the case, and the banjo was inside. "Gee" he says, "I didn't know there was anything in it" but he stuch by his price. Anyone want to offer me $6.50>


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 08:05 AM

Cobber,

That's a great story.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 08:14 AM

Cobber - sorry I missed you when I was in Australia last December. We could have compared Orchestra model Stewarts. Mine is a grade 2 model; 12 inch head; a layer of veneer under the fingerboard; a few stars, moons and diamonds as an inlay pattern, probably built in the early 1890's (serial number 13894). The case got badly trashed in transit but because I had also securely strapped it, there was no damage to the banjo. Your banjo is easily worth more than $750 U.S., and more depending on its grade; you certainly got the buy of a lifetime. Could you describe your Orchestra Stewart in more detail?


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 08:43 AM

Not to be tedious but there's another superb S.S. Stewart Thoroughbred listed on E-Bay today, currently at $750. I've never seen one with such ornate carving on the neck, carving even under the peghead. It was made in the early 1890's (according to its serial number), has a 12-inch head, and appears to be in remarkable condition after spending decades in someone's attic. I'm amazed that such quality instruments are still turning up. This one should go for more than $1500, assuming its neck is still straight.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 09:39 AM

Whoops! The above Stewart is now running at over $1900. Somebody really likes the lion's head carving on the neck, even though there's a small chip out of it.

There's also a Canadian-made banjo listed now, modeled after the S.S. Stewarts which is worth a look and probably will not go for too much.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Mar 02 - 04:46 PM

Now that fancy carved S.S. Stewart Thoroughbred is being bid at $2425. The sellor is in for one hell of a pleasant surprise; he seems to deal in quite a range of estate antiques and didn't seem very familar with what he was placing on E-Bay.

I also notice that someone from Australia has placed a Stewart on E-Bay; could this be Cobber from above?


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 01:47 PM

The Acme Stewart went for $1625. The Stewart Thoroughbred is now up to $2550 with no end in sight.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,cobber
Date: 06 Mar 02 - 01:04 AM

The orchestra model I have has a paticularly large head, if I remember rightly it was about 131/4 inches so I've always used a real pigskin. No it's not the one on E-Bay. Sure, I could use the money but now with a wife and kids to support, I'd never be able to replace it. Anyway, It travelled with me for a lot of years so it would be like selling one of my children. I was in the US a few years back and was surprised then at the size of the offers people were making. Mine is fairly plain except on the heel which has a lovely floral carving. The Lady Stewart is even plainer and has ivory violin style pegs. It had a broken tailpiece when I got it which I haven't been able to replace so when I made one, I incorporated some violin tuners into it as it was a beast to tune. This one is also not for sale as it has been promised to my son when he gets older.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Mar 02 - 07:48 AM

Cobber - your Orchestra Stewart sounds similar to mine, except mine has a 12-inch head. Mine also has a layer of veneer under the fingerboard to strengthen the neck, which generally indicates a better grade model. The absence or presence of a neck adjuster appliance generally indicates whether the Stewart was made before or after 1896; mine is pre-1896. I'm very comfortable playing mine and wouldn't sell it either but I do like to admire other Stewart banjos, and recently purchased a Special Thoroughbred Stewart on E-Bay which I'm refurbushing for resale; it should sound as good as my Orchestra but was set up for bluegrass.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 06 Mar 02 - 08:14 AM

You guys might find this interesting. You will have to scroll down to a 1920's Lady Stewart. It seems to be well priced based on the above.

12th Fret Vintage


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 07:45 AM

My guess is that the "Lady Stewart" is an earlier 1890's model produced for some other distributor such as Sears Roebuck. The high serial number does not correlate with the regular Stewart serial numbers; there's a gap mentioned in the Mudwumps Website where a new set of serial numbers started at 50,000. I think this banjo is way over-priced and shouldn't sel for for than $500, if that.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 08:26 AM

Don't know much about them Charley, I just thought I'd post it for you guys. It does convert to $629 U.S.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 03:21 PM

Well, the bidding on the Stewart Thoroughbred with the lion's head heal went up to a breath-taking $4326. The happy buyer won his first auction in a last minute flurry of bids. I wonder if he'd be willing to pay another thousand or so to have it properly tuned.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 05:21 PM

Hmmm. Time to refresh this thread. There's a very nice S.S. Stewart Special Thoroughbred, No. 2, listed on E-Bay, well worth a look. Not the most ornate model but good enough to make any oldtime picker very happy. I would expect this one to go for somewhere between $750 and $1200, Additional details I've gotten from the seller confirm that there are 3 layers of veneer under the fingerboard reinforcing the neck, the neck is straight, and the head itself is about 11". The peghead is very nicely rendered in mother of perl and copper; the neck inlays are either simple dots or diamonds. The heel of the neck is nicely carved. There's a Stewart banjo website run by Mudwumps (see above) that will provide you more details about these fine banjos.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 May 02 - 07:26 PM

There's a clone of my current favorite banjo on E-Bay, an S.S. Stewart Orchestra #2 model with a 12" head and reinforced veneer neck. It even has the same inlay pattern and heel carving and a similar serial number. My banjo, which I've had for 20 years, has a rich mellow tone and I would reasonably expect the one of EBay to be similar. The bid is currently around $650 but it should go over $1000 and still be a good buy. Search for "Stewart Banjo" when you reach Ebay.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 May 02 - 05:41 PM

The Orchestra Stewart is now up to $762, has made its reserve, and bidding will close 5/19. If you're serious about old time banjo take a look at this one. It's very well made.

There's also a very nice early Stewart Solo Banjeaurine, circa 1880's, which has been bid up to $400 but hasn't made its reserve.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Jeri
Date: 15 May 02 - 06:45 PM

Charley, the only thing I get (other than a catalog) when I search for "stewart banjo" is this. (Not that I'm looking for another banjo. Just nosey.)


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 May 02 - 07:39 PM

I'm sorry, Jeri. Go to e-Bay and then search for "stewart banjo", don't use the quotation marks.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Jeri
Date: 15 May 02 - 07:56 PM

I didn't use the quotation marks. This is what I get. No big deal.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 May 02 - 08:01 PM

It does take some time to navigate to the "e-Bay Auction Site" from scratch and then search for stewart banjo on the e-Bay Auction website. I can't do a reliable blue clicky (maybe some kind soul would do that for those interested in a quick banjo fix)but here's what I copied from my most recent search: search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?MfcISAPICommand=GetResult&ht=&SortProperty=MetaEndSort&query=stewart+banjo

Since I'm always interested in a few particular goodies, I have each search bookmarked as a favorite. Although sometimes I do a search for "acme banjo" since Stewart Banjo were sold by Sears under that brand name and many appear to be quality instruments. I'm not interested in the 1920's and 1930's Stewart banjo mandolines, which are generally poor quality mass produced instruments.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 May 02 - 10:12 AM

Only 11 hours to go on this auction; high bid is holding at $811, which would be a steal for a banjo of this quality. I do have a question of how deeply the pot is tarnished; the images provided are suspiciously underexposed and the seller refuses to provide me additional information.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 May 02 - 08:17 AM

The Orchestra S.S. Stewart went for $1376; the details of the bidding can be found by doing the usual search for Stewart Banjo, then clicking "completed items" and "bid history." I think that's a fair price for a high quality antique banjo.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jun 02 - 10:23 AM

NEW FLASH! Someone has dug up another stunning Stewart banjo; check out image showing the mozaic of inlayed woods on the inside rim:

"Just uncovered from the back of the attic an S. S. Stewart Banjeaurine Banjo with Mother of Pearl inlays in ebony, hand carved body, fantastic wood inlay around the inside rim. Made in Philadelphia, Pat'd Jan 11, 1887. Of course it needs a new skin, 3 pieces of the MOP are missing, there is an old repair (seen in photo of carved body), needs new strings. All of the parts are present and accounted. Comes with original case in fair condition. Measures 28" long, 13" diam., 15" neck."

Too bad about the crude repair in the heel. Bidding up to only $787.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 08:57 PM

Refresh! Hey, it can't hurt to look!


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 10:48 AM

Just checked the "completed items" and the S. S. Stewart Banjeaurine Banjo went for a tidy $1201. It really looked nice.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 09:44 AM

Here's a new dazzling eBay listing, one of those stealth Stewarts mascarading under the "Acme" label:

"THE ITEM

You are bidding on a late 1800's (1890's) S.S. Stewart Acme Professional Banjo. It is an openback 5 string. With a beautiful mother of pearl Vine Inlay that runs the length of the neck. With an ivroid serrated button on the tailpiece tailpiece. This is a full scale five string neck, with a fiberskin head on the rim, and the strings are in fine order. The detail and craftsmanship of this banjo is beautiful.

ITEM CONDITION

This item plays wonderfully. With a nice tone. It frets true, the strings are a little high near the rim as would be expected in a piece this age. It still frets true the whole length of the neck. The vine inlay is all there, and in beautiful condition. The rim is all sound and in good condition. Only minimal dings and dents on the peg head . A small piece of ebony has been replaced near the fifth nut, bottom fret, and last piece of fret board. These pieces are very tiny., and the replacement job was perfect. The small white iveried or plastic serrated button is in good condition with some slight dings. I will include a chipboard case, it is not the original case, but it is almost new. This is a beautiful and sound instrument. Would be nice for a collector or a player. Bid with confidence."

Current bid is $1500 and I would expect the bids to run up to at least $2500.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 10:41 AM

Charley,

What a gorgeous looking instrument.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 04:16 PM

Steve,

That's what this thread is all about...DROOL!

The S.S. Stewart "Acme Professional Banjo" was retailed by Sears & Roebuck and sometimes you can find great bargains from sellers who list a "Vintage Acme Banjo" but have no idea that it is associated with S. S. Stewart.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 09:18 PM

The S.S. Stewart "Acme Professional Banjo" went to a novice bidder for $1900; I think he got a great deal!


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 11:31 AM

Well, there's another S.S. Stewart Special Thoroughbred just listed on eBay which looks quite good, well worth a look. I have a similar model and it has a fine mellow old-time sound and is robust enough for steel strings. Looks like this one had had some wear and tear but the seller has posted some excellent images. I would expect this one to go for $1500 but you might get it for less if you're lucky. I'm fishing for the reserve price right now but I'm not planning on bidding more than $750.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 09:24 AM

They're all coming out of the closet or attic. There's another very sharp S.S. Stewart Thoroughbred, Model 2, just listed which should go for about $1200 at market value, and someone has outbid my $501 bid for the Special Thoroughbred above.

Say, does anyone pay any attention to these public service announcements?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 08:06 AM

Time for another S.S.Stewart alert.

This time it's a very sharp Orchestra #2 Model, manufactured in the early 1890's, almost identical to the one I've been playing for the last 20 years. Current bid is $1000 which is less than the reserve, and one could buy it immediately for $1500 if someone hasn't already done that. The seller has done a great job of describing the banjo, and posting images of it; he clearly knows what he's selling.

I'm amazed that it still has the original friction tuners. This is one of the more robust Stewarts that holds up well with steel strings; they were all originally designed for gut strings, and some of the lighter models can't survive steel strings.

I bet this one goes for at least $1500.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 08:13 AM

You know, there's a reason why I keep posting notices here about Stewart banjos being auctioned on eBay: they can be remarkedly beautiful. Take a glance at the 1888-1892 S. S. Stewart 5-String Banjo.(Item # 2504715209) which is a close clone of one my brother has (which I "borrowed" while he was in the service but finally returned 10 years later); search for "stewart banjo". This one has the full array of inlay on the fingerboard, the beautifully carved heel with a star, the intricate mosaic of inlay inside the pot, and will probably sell for over $1500. The images posted are not the best but this Stewart looks to be in superb condition.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 05:27 PM

Well, I plunked for the above Orchestra Model 3 and it arrived today. What a beauty and it sounds great too! Just a few things to tinker with.

Now if you ever wanted to view what Stewart provided for Sears Roebuck under its Acme label, check out the Stewart Professional currently being offered for sale. It's the equivalent of a Model 3 and with very ornate silver vines/mother of pearl inlay on the fingerboard. The description sounds like the seller knows what he has and is making a good faith attempt to describe it accurately. There's some nice restoration work on the peghead.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, plunkity-plunk


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 08:02 AM

Good grief! S.S.Stewart banjos are now streaming out of the attics and closets and are being posted on e-Bay. There are now three Model 2's posted including the Acme Professional described above plus two Special Thoroughbreds. The most recent Special Thoroughbred is interesting to me as a likely example of a late 1890's Stewart sold through Sears & Roebuck; it's peghead is particularly ornate, with silver wire as well mother of pearl inlay; the next is a more modest array of diamond mother of pearl inlays.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 12:34 PM

Shit! Now there's a S.S. Stewart Orchestra Model #4 for sale, even nicer than #3 that I recently purchased.

And there's also a bizarre 1908 model with solid mother of pearl fingerboard. Where are these banjos coming from?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 12:22 PM

I haven't posted to this thread for some time but here's an interesting Stewart banjo for auction on eBay:

"JUNE CARTER CASH SS STEWART BANJO, PROFESSIONAL MODEL

Four string, two-piece flange, flat head tone ring, chrome-plated hardware, ebony fingerboard, pearl inlaid vine, on the peghead and fingerboard, carved flowers, SS Stewart, Phila. PA plaque. Black tape has been placed on the bottom rim."

The professional model was distributed via Sears Roebuck & CO, and is typically demonstrates a high level of craftsmenship. However, the description above does not seem to do justice for what is offered. Apparently the seller can't even count the number of strings and I'm not sure what he's refering to with regard to a "two-piece flange." I'm assuming this banjo was part of the late June Carter's estate but that is not clear on eBay but might be if the seller were contacted directly with an inquiry.

The banjo is probably worth $1500 to $2000 if it's in good condition and it appears to be in good condition. More photographs should be displayed by the seller or requested if you're actually planning to bid.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,HRoland
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 07:11 PM

So..I bought the Stewart Banjo that belonged to June Carter Cash last week in New York.

For anybody interested, after we take possesion in a few weeks, I'll come back to this thread and let you know more about it. Also would love to hear from you Stewart experts out there what you might know/think of it.

Later..HR/JR


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Phil Wood
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 09:02 PM

I inherited a S.S. Stewart Wondertone XX - it has the pearl headstock
& fretboard ( with flowers ), a four string, the pearl inlaid circle
on closed back ( has inlaid wood ring around the pearl ), no serial number ( no sticker stain on inside rim ), but the metal ring that holds the reasonator(sp)in has " D 28 " stamped on it.It looks alot
like the Gibson TB 11's but headstock shape is different.My dad played this when he was a kid ( he was born in 1911 )... What do I have ? You seem to be the ones to ask after endless internet searches! Any info would be GREAT ! Thanks ... Phil


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Ptarmigan
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:04 AM

Hey Charley, are you still out there?

I bought myself an S S Stewart recently.

Serial number 6019 which, by my reckoning, probably means it was born around 1891.

It had a lot of green gunk & muck on the sides of the pot, hooks & shoes, so I stripped it down & gave it the once over & have now fitted a new Renaissance head & have just strung it up ..... with Nylgut strings of course.

You can check out some photos of it, over here:

< http://good-times.webshots.com/album/563035839xODJiH >

Cheers
Dick

Old Time Music Forum
< http://oldtimehammer.proboards76.com/v45index.cgi? >


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:43 AM

Dick-

I'm on the road right now but I'll revisit this thread when I'm back home. Is there any model label on this banjo? I'll check out your image as well.

Cheerily,
Charley Nobel


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Ptarmigan
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 12:10 PM

Charley,

Nope, no model label I'm afraid, just the good old bone inset with:

"S.S.STEWART PHIL'A.PA".

Just a plain neck too, but a rather nice headstock & fingerboard, without being overly decorated.

Sorry I missed all those fascinating earlier eBay observations.

I think you'll enjoy the photos.
That's the great thing about the Webshots site, the way you can magnify!

Cheers
Dick

Old Time Music Forum (Europe)
< http://oldtimehammer.proboards76.com/v45index.cgi? >


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:01 PM

Dick-

You've posted a lovely set of images and your banjo looks in great condition. The inlay work is a basic medium level of ornmentation, very nicely done, and not as distracting as some of the more ornate layouts. The rim looks to be about 11 inches, might be 12", with 30 brackets to support it. Not sure if all the bracket hardware is original. Do be careful not to overtighten the bracket nuts, the curved heads of the brackets crack rather easily.

The lack of a veneer layer under the fingerboard, and the lack of heel carving indicates that this banjo while well-made is one of the entry level banjos, what Stewart refers to in his catalog is Model 1.

Beyond that I would find it difficult to identify the exact model but you do seem to have pinpointed the date, the early 1890's.

Happy playing!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, still in the wilds of Long Island


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 05:07 AM

Charley,

Thanks for giving her the once over.

I must agree with your description of the neck.
I certainly wouldn't want any more inlay than there is on this one.
In fact, IMHO some of the nicest Stewart Necks I've seen actually have even less than this one.
I have seen photos of other models which, I assume, were Models 2 & 3 & I'm afraid I just find them far too fussy & quite frankly distracting & to be perfectly honest, a little vulgar.
I think less is more, in this department.

However, I do wish this one had a sandwiched neck.
I have an old John Grey with three layers in the neck & as well as adding strength, it looks wonderful.

I saw one recently too, which had loads of decoration INSIDE the pot. I'm sure it added nothing to the sound, but it looked fantastic & because it was inside, no way could it be described as distracting. Of course it sold for well over twice what I paid for mine.

I have the photo somewhere. Once I find it I'll post a link here.

I certainly don't plan on tightening the hooks too much either, nor will I ever fit wire strings to this banjo.
I'm happy to leave loud, brash vulgarity to the domain of the Bluegrass player! :-)

Cheers
Dick


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 05:20 AM

Charley,

Here are those links I promised.

Stewart Banjo - 15236:
http://inlinethumb38.webshots.com/18149/2724099880102727105S600x600Q85.jpg

Stewart Banjo Pot:
http://inlinethumb57.webshots.com/2552/2427352220102727105S600x600Q85.jpg

In fact, here's the link to the e-Bay page for all the details & more photos.

I'm sure you saw this one anyway Charley, but that's what I think of as too much decoration on the fretboard. Each to their own as they say. :-)

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=220201029995&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=012

Cheers
Dick


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 05:28 AM

Speaking of GAUDY!

Have you seen the "menstrual" :-) Stewart that's on eBay right now? .... only a few hours to go!

http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=250235678549

Very nice fretboard, but I think that carving would put a lot of people off.
Can you imagine that looking down at you, as you tried to doze off at night.
The word Voodoo springs to mind.

Cheers
Dick


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 05:41 AM

Mind you, in my opinion, this fingerboard has even less taste.

http://cgi.ebay.com/SS-Stewart-5-String-Presentation-Banjo_W0QQitemZ160221375323QQihZ006QQcategoryZ10177QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1638Q2em118Q2el1247

However, as the starting price is a cool ...... $2,500 I needn't worry too much, it's never going to be in my collection! :-)

Cheers
Dick


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 08:22 AM

Dick-

You've got it bad! ;~)

There's no known cure for Stewart banjo madness. It just leads to purchasing more Stewart banjos ("I'll just place a nudge bid...")

I've only got 4 Stewart banjos and I'm actually trying to sell one, a Model 2 Special Thoroughbred with a copper-clad pot.

I do love the Model 3's with their wood mosaic inlay inside the rim.

I quite agree with your determination not to string your banjo up with steel strings. The unreinforced neck might not take it. And you will get a nice mellow sound.

The "menstrual" Stewart banjo is something else. Well executed but I would agree that most folks in the modern world would be put off at this style of carving; it belongs in a folk art museum. And it would be nice if the seller knew how to spell!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, back home


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 12:32 PM

Aye a Folk Museum, that's exactly the right spot for it Charley.

No, don't worry, I'm not going to be buying up Stewarts, left, right & centre.
This one will do very nicely, thank you.
I couldn't afford to anyway, but I don't see the point in having them just to hang on a wall as decoration.
After all, they were made to play music.

Still, I am fascinated by them & I do enjoy looking for them on eBay.
I'm sure there are lots of variations I haven't seen yet .... e.g. one with a "copper-clad pot"! :-)

Cheers
Dick


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM

Dick-

One of the resource documents you can probably pick up via e-bay is a reprint of the S.S. Stewart Catalogue for 1896, reprinted by Mugwumps. You're probably already familiar with the Mugwumps Stewart banjo website by now but if not, check it out. Lots more Stewarts to droll over!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 06:14 PM

im glad i found this site, i found 2 banjos in a trunk in my parents attic one is an ac fairbanks no 1 spaecial the other an ss stewart, THE STUDENT, i know its not one of the high end models but its in great shape, the serial number is 215, i checked out mugwumps serial number history, thats the first year they were made, 001 to300 1878 to 1879. my fathers 82 years old,he got them from his uncle, i remembered playing with them when i was a young boy 40 plus years ago, thats probably why they were hidden in the attic all these years.i hope somebody can give me an idea on how much the ss stewart is worth, i look forward to a response, thanks


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 06:41 PM

Jeff, I would suggest you contact Elderly Instruments for an appraisal. You will get a fair idea from these folks as to their worth. I spoke with their vintage appraiser, and he suggested you send him a picture with a camera phone or camera and he will give you an idea as to worth. Of course, a full appraisal would require them to see the instrument up close, but he will give you an idea. His email is frog at elderly dot com.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 07:44 PM

Correction: Elderly Instruments.


A


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 09:26 PM

Jeff-

The early serial number would augment the value but the banjo is still one of the lower end models. I wouldn't expect the appraisal to be particularly high.

What part of the country are you resident in? The Fairbanks might be much more valuable.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 06:41 PM

thanks for the response and info mick and charley, mick i will contact elderly and see what they come up with, thanks . charley i live in rhode island,from what i've read the top specialist and collector of ac fairbanks jim bollman doesnt live to far from me, his web page is under construction. the music emporium he used to be partners in is close also maybe ill take a ride there.the ac fairbanks banjo is small 8and a quarter inches across the face and 15and a half inch long neck mahogany color, the serial number is 22803 by mugwumps chart thats 1903 right about the time the plant burnt down. even if these banjos arent worth much its been very interesting tracking down their history.i will keep you posted thanks again.    jeff


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 10:34 PM

Jeff-

I've had Jim Bollman appraise two banjos, a Stewart Special Thoroughbred No. 2 and a very interesting minstrel banjo fromthe 1860's. He's an excellent choice and I'm sure he'll give you a tour of his collection as well.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Bob D
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:24 PM

Ive got an ss stewart that im trying to price. the identification plate has been removed from the dowel and its only markings are the inlay on the headstock. it is a small 4 string. any tips?


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:43 PM

Bob-

It's most likely one of the less expensive models that was manufactured in the 1920's and 1930's.

We've never seen a 4-string model from the classic 1880's-1900 period.

You should be able to get a general idea of what your banjo would sell for by checking the "completed" sales for "Stewart banjo" on e-Bay.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 08:49 AM

Here's a link to a much abused Stewart banjo offered on e-Bay: click here for website!

This is a higher end (Model 2) Stewart from the classic 1890's period, most likely manufactured for Sears Roebuck. The peghead ebony is beyond repair but the rest of the fingerboard seems intact, with a missing diamond shaped mother-of-pearl inlay or two. The carved heel looks nice but the foot of the heel is missing its ebony veneer. The neck looks structurally sound and is reinforced with veneers, but does show some dings. There is a lot of missing hardware but one can order a full set of brackets and other accessories from Elderly Instruments; they won't look authentic but they will be uniform and functional.

This would make a great project for a moderately skilled craftsman. I wouldn't bid more than $300 for it as is but if restored well it would be worth at least $1200.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: fretless
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 09:21 AM

The photos show a thick purple rubber band around the neck at the 6th fret. The fretboard may be separating from the neck, which is a problem I've seen on other vintage Stewarts. Restoring this baby could end up being a real test of a luthier's skills.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 11:55 AM

Fretless-

If I got my hands on this banjo I'd be tempted to start with a new ebony fretboard. But I suppose the old one might not be warped or too badly damaged.

The diamond-shaped mother-of-pearl inlays would be relatively easy to transfer but you'd want help from an expert on the first one. Ebony is really brittle.

Replacing the peghead inlays would be more of a job for an expert.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Gunnar Wiskoff
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 11:00 AM

I have a Stewart Orchestra Banjo with what looks like some extra MoP inlays on the neck & tuning head, as well as the sculpted heel of the neck & the mosaic wood tile inlay on the inner rim. The main thing is that I can't get the tailpiece to stay on. Other than that and a couple of missing head clamps, she's in pretty good condition.
http://www.4turns.us/StewartBanjo.jpg


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:54 PM

Chicago's Old Town School Of Folk Music had almost a complete set of Stuart Banjos donated to it around 1965.

Two or three of those disappeared from the wall in the front lobby of the School at 343(?) W. North Avenue where they were prominently displayed for a year or so.

After that, all of those STEWART BANJOS had interconnected wires woven through them so that whenever the wire had a disconnection in it a loud alarm would sound.

By the time I left my job as Asst. Manager of the Old Town Folklore Center there at the O.T.S.F.M. (1967) several more Stewart banjos were gone--and the alarm system no longer worked. Carol and I spent the next 2 years living on the Oregon Coast.

We returned to Chicago in 1969--- and for a short time, I, once again took a job at the Folklore Center.

(It felt like "day-job-vu -- all over again". ;-)

All but 6 or 7 of those banjos were still up on that wall---and nobody there at the Old Town School could tell me where those Stewart banjos went.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 06:24 PM

I didn't mean to say that.

What I wanted to say was that all of those banjos except 6 or 7 were GONE.

Sorry!!!

Art


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 11:05 PM

Gunnar-

That a very nice image of your banjo. Lovely ornate inlay pattern. The Stewart Orchestra Model 3 was one of the best banjos that this company put together. If it's in good condition it's worth well over $2000. You might consider having a qualified banjo repair person take a good look at it.

Charley Noble, who started this thread


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,zach
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 10:37 PM

I have a ssstewart Phil'a stamped number 68926--5 string banjo with 11 and qtr inch wide base and about 20 inch neck . 5th string stops at about 14-15 in up neck while other 4 strings continue to end with what appears to be mother of pearl inlay and design --neck has star and diamond inlay same mop .I can make out date plate july 17 91 or 94 im not quite sure. banjo in very good condition was won in card game by grandfather when traveled out west and played in carolina mts when he returned.any idea what value maybe , who to contact to find out appraised value and history. thank you for any assistance... zach


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 09:37 AM

Zach-

Sounds from the high serial number as if you have one of the Stewart banjos especially built for sale by Sears Roebuck. One can determine what grade it is (1, 2, or 3(best)) by the layers of veneers under the finger board and the amount of mother of pearl inlay on the fingerboard, and the carving on the heel of the neck.

Mugwumps is a website dedicated to Stewart banjos which you and others might find of interest.

If you could provide a link to an image of the banjo I and others could tell you more.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Elisabeth
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 11:16 PM

I have a S.S.Stewart Orchestra model in perfect condition - No. is 11819, i.e. looks like 1892 or so. Is has beautiful butterfly etc. mother of pearl inlays and a carved neck. I used to play it a little years ago, but it is for me only a collector's piece now. What would it be worth these days? I might put it up on ebay .


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 08:18 AM

Elizabeth-

The value varies on a number of factors:

The model, whether it is a No. 1, 2 or 3 (best) (see Mugwumps website for more details)

The condition

The market

Right now the market is weak. Ordinarily a Model 2 Orchestra in good condition should sell for at $1500; one would be lucky to get $1200 now.

The presence of veneer under the fingerboard separates the Model 2 from the Model 1.

If there is mosaic inside the rim and a full run of mother-of-pearl inlay on the fingerboard, it's a Model 3 which in a good market would sell for $2500.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble who already has two Model 2 Orchestra Stewarts


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: olddude
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 08:23 AM

Awwwww,
anyone wanna buy it for me ... wow what a beauty ... Oh the things we could have if money didn't get in the way LOL


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Elisabeth
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 11:23 PM

Hello cheerful Charley Noble,

Thank you for your quick response and advice.

I bought the banjo about 40 years ago. Had a Vega before that, but it's sound was too harsh, then I found the Stewart.

I couldn't find more info on the mugwamps site for No. 1,2, or 3, but it does have mosaic inside the rim as well as mother of pearl inlay at the beginning and end as well as 6 butterflies along the fingerboard and a fully, beautifully inlaid top (where the pegs are). Could be a number 3? It is absolutely beautiful and has a great sound so I don't want to hang it on the wall to be damaged by the elements, i.e. it is hidden away in its case ... I feel sorry for it, it should be played ... I'll think about auctioning it ...

Thanks again,

Elisabeth

and also thanks olddude for for drooling. I am sooo sorry that money even has to come into it, but such is life.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 08:18 AM

Elisabeth-

You clearly own a Model 3 Stewart and from your description the fingerboard mother-of-pearl pattern must be stunning. Could you make a link to an image of your banjo, using the "blue clicky" button at the bottom on the reply box?

The higher order Model 3's also have some more ornate details, including etching on the metal side of the pot, carved dole-sticks, and other things that are more easily seen than described (why look at that!). Does it have a 12-inch head?

One of the advantages of the Orchestra model is that it is robust enough for steel strings, if that is your preference. Originally this banjo was only played with gut strings. The necks of some lighter model Stewarts can't stand the strain of steel strings and will twist or warp.

In addition to the Mugwumps website for specific information about these banjos, there are reprints of old Stewart banjo catalogues that periodically come up for sale on the used book websites or e-Bay. The 1896 catalogue was reprinted by Mugwumps in 1973, and may still be available from them; I find it invaluable.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Elisabeth
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 09:43 PM

Hello Charley,

The banjo has a 12" head. Here are some photos:

Elisabeth's Banjo

Have a great weekend,
Elisabeth


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 01:38 PM

Elisabeth-

It's certainly a Model 3 in excellent condition. The only defect I can see is evidently (might be the lighting from the camera shot) some missing mother-of-pearl inlay on the peghead, something that a reasonably skilled banjo repair person could deal with.

The "butterfly pattern" will certainly attract more serious collectors as bidders.

What do you think you'll do next?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Elisabeth
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:19 PM

Hi Charley,

You are right with the bit of inlay missing, I actually only noticed it on the photo and had to check on the banjo itself, I had not even noticed it before.

What to do next? I guess I should sell it, just so it gets played by somebody who'd love it. I would like to get the right price for it though ... have to think about it (separation anxiety?). Would ebay be the way, or are there more specialised avenues?

Thank you again for your help and advice,
Elisabeth


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 11:27 AM

Elisabeth-

It would be nice if you got a nibble here but don't count on it.

As I've said above I haven't been seeing good Stewarts going for what they're worth on eBay this year; the market is weak. But one can try it, making sure that your reserve value is something you can live with. I would suggest $2000, enough to discourage causal bidders but not high enough to discourage a serious collector.

If you approached a reputable dealer, you would be lucky to get 60% of its resale value; dealers are in a very competitive business and that's what they expect when they're marking up new instruments for sale.

Another website to test the waters with no risk is the Banjo Hangout: click here for website. However, you'll have to figure out how to navigate a new forum.

Good luck!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Elisabeth
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 07:41 PM

Thanks again Charley, you have been a great help. I am in no hurry to sell it, but as you say, I could test the waters ... I am a bit of an ebay novice, so I'll play around with it a bit.

All the best,
Elisabeth


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Leadfingers
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 08:25 PM

AND its in NZ I think - Shipping would be an added cost !


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Leadfingers
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 08:25 PM

100


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Warren
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 11:25 AM

Elisabeth, am interested in buying your banjo...how can I get in touch with you? Warren


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: stallion
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 11:29 AM

yes charley and i don't even play a banjo!


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 02:31 PM

Warren-

I don't think Elisabeth left any contact info, and since she never became a "member" we can't send her a PM. You might consider becoming a member yourself, for future reference.

Her banjo certainly was a very nice one, and my standards are fairly high.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: VPI
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 08:57 AM

Charley,thanks for the comeback. I have joined and if you should hear from Elisabeth again would appreciate passing along.....If you get another lead on a nice SS Stewart I'm looking for a well earned graduation gift for a player. Warren


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Elisabeth Andel
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 12:59 AM

Just saw the message from Warren, who is interested in the banjo. My contact email address is: aikidoyuishin@gmail.com.

Thanks for passing on the information.
Elisabeth


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Subject: S S stewart 1887 Philada 14931 Metal neck Fastner
From: GUEST, W Timmons
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 07:27 PM

Could somewone tell me something about this .Im new at this.Is their any value .


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 09:55 AM

W Tommons-

Please be more specific about "this"? Do you actually have a Stewart banjo and, if so, describe what you have.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,dhullinger
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:22 AM

I have an SS Stewart Thoroughbred that I want to sell to purchase a new banjo. I just had it set up at Elderly Instruments. It is at Banjo Hangout

http://www.banjohangout.org/classified/14579

574-360-5954 if you are interested

10 pictures in the ad


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 08:12 AM

dhullinger-

Your SS Stewart Thoroughbred Model 2 certainly looks like the real thing and is in excellent condition. However, I do expect that $2200 is a higher price than the market will currently support. I certainly respect Elderly Instruments for repair work on vintage banjos but it may not have been a "wise" move to invest an additional $400 in this banjo. The average price on eBay is more like $1200. You should expect better than average but not a whole lot more.

Good luck in finding a good home for this Stewart.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,W Timmons
Date: 25 May 10 - 11:20 AM

Hi Charley
i have a S S Stewart 1887 Philada metal neck fastner 13inch rim ,13 inch neck no 14931 Patd Jan 11 1887 .Just had redone.I was wondering what it was worth. might sell ?????


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: matt milton
Date: 25 May 10 - 12:20 PM

My SS Stewart, from eBay, ultimately ended up costing me a paltry £40.

This was because the idiot that sold it to me didn't pack it properly (he wrapped it in brown paper in its old, rather worn, soft leather, 120-year-old case!), and it arrived with its neck broken.

He then refused to refund me, resulting in an eBay dispute that concluded with me being refunded my money without having to return the banjo. Hobgoblin charged me £40 to get it fixed. A happy ending, though a lot of headaches and incomprehending rage at how unreasonable and assholeish some people can be beforehand.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Ernest
Date: 25 May 10 - 03:21 PM

here is one at Elderlys:

http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/60U-2391.htm

Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 May 10 - 08:51 PM

Earnest-

The Universal Favorite Model A being offered from Elderly Music appears to be in excellent shape. My only concern would be that the neck is not strong enough for steel strings, which may not be a concern if one is happy with nylon strings. The Model B or C have a reinforced neck that holds up much better. It does have some tasteful inlay work on the fingerboard and scroll-head

Timmons-

With regard to "S S Stewart 1887 Philada metal neck fastner 13inch rim ,13 inch neck no 14931 Patd Jan 11 1887" it's unclear to me what model yours is. Are there veneer strips under the fingerboard? What kind of inlay work is on the fingerboard, if any? Can you provide a link to a digital image of this short necked banjo? Some of them are so well made that they sell for $2000 or more.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 May 10 - 09:15 PM

There are some interesting Stewart banjos coming out of attics and closets on eBay now. My current favorite is a Universal Favorite Model 2 which has some issues but appears to be a solid instrument for around $500: click here for website

This is a sturdy enough instrument for steel strings.

There's also an early 4-string Stewart of interest, described as a "banjeaurine" which may be a prototype rather than a production model, from around the early 1900's. I'm still not sure of this one because the neck is so unusual but the pot is definitely a Stewart.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,W timmons
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:10 PM

HI charley                                                                   did i make contact ? My banjo has 4 stars 2 quarter moons and what looks like a leaf    .


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 May 10 - 07:40 PM

Timmons-

You are describing some of the typical mother-of-pearl inlays one might find on a classic Stewart banjo. But you're not answering my questions posted above.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Alex Francis
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 01:03 PM

I found an old SS Stewart and im dead set on getting it. Its a 1894 orchestra No 2. Has the original tuners but one has broken in half and the 5th string peg is missing. Here is a picture of one that is exactly the same http://www.billsbanjos.com/Orchestra2.htm . Its missing two inlays on the headstock and I was wondering what is a good price for this amazing banjo??


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 03:17 PM

Alex-

The Orchestra No. 2 is what I've settled on for years as a well-built Stewart banjo and one strong enough to be strung with steel strings. If the Stewart you are looking were in working condition it should retail for about $1200 in a good market. In the current market probably less. If you can pick it up for $800 or less you'll be getting a good deal.

Generally banjo players will want to replace the old tuners with newer models; you want ones with a narrow shaft that fits into the existing holes in peghead; give Elderly Instruments a call and see what they suggest.

Do keep us up to date on whether you are able to purchase it.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 10 - 12:38 AM

I bought the S.S. Stewart Orchestra and a 1924 "The Gibson" tenor pot with a Seeger style long neck for 600 bucks!! I know the Stewart is worth a lot more, but what about the gibson? Ive been clawing for about a year now and already have three banjos... it seems crazy lol


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Audra
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 11:45 AM

We have a banjo that we have had for many years that we were looking to sell, it will need some work but it's in good condition. No strings, etc. Pass around the family and just displayed at the house.

On the back it says SS Stewart (diagonal in two places), Philada and also the serial number 2699. It also says Ludwig Whitecalf on the back of the skin. From doing a little research it looks like pre-1888?

I have some pictures but not sure how to post them. Thank you for your assistance!

Audra 210-382-0041


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 12:00 PM

"Ludwig Whitecalf" was a commercial product of the Ludwig Drum Company--a specially treated skin that was white.

See The History of the Ludwig Drum Company.

A


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 04:09 PM

Audra-

You need to provide a more detailed description for me to make sense of:

Is it a 5-string banjo?

What kind of inlay work is on the fingerboard, if any?

What is the diameter of the head?

Is the neck carved at the heel?

What kind of pegs are on the peghead, friction or geared?

Pictures would certainly help a whole lot. Do you have digital images you could post to Facebook?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Audra
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 07:44 PM

Hopefully this works!

http://www.facebook.com/MsAudd#!/album.php?aid=188594&id=507197056&ref=pb


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 07:51 PM

Audra-

You need to provide a more detailed description for me to make sense of:

Is it a 5-string banjo? Yes 5 string

What kind of inlay work is on the fingerboard, if any? Mother of pearl inlay with stars and moons.   See pictures.

What is the diameter of the head? 11" head

Is the neck carved at the heel? No.

What kind of pegs are on the peghead, friction or geared? I have no clue, there are some ivory pegs that are in a bag.

Pictures would certainly help a whole lot. Do you have digital images you could post to Facebook? I have posted them below! :)

There is even a handwritten paper saying that he purchased the banjo in 1886, and gave to a friend in the 1900's.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 08:10 PM

Fretless ? That wipes me out ! I have enough trouble keeping a fretted banjo in tune ! LOL


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 11:24 PM

Audra-

You definitely have an early Stewart fretless 5-string banjo. There are two missing ebony shims that fit inside the head between the metal brace and the neck; they are needed before anyone tries to string it up for play.

I'm puzzled by the inlaid wooden star on the peghead; it may be a homemade replacement for the mother-of-pearl star which got lost.

The serial number indicates that it is older than 1886 and it looks at least ten years older than that to me; check the Stewart website "Mugwumps" for more information about the significance of the serial number.

It's not a high-end model but very interesting and somewhat rare.

The tuning pegs are a variety of ivory or artificial ivory friction pegs.

What do you want to do with it?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 10 - 04:37 AM

We are looking to sell it due to our finances, husband laid off, etc.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 01:10 PM

Here's a nice looking S. S. Stewart American Princess Model 1 for sale at the Banjo Hangout: click here!

Then follow the links there for images.
This is a smaller (10" pot) banjo, more portable for travel. I'm not sure if it's sturdy enough for metal strings.

It seems to be in great shape but it is missing the ebony shims which stiffen the support rod in the pot against the rim; you want those shims in (easily made) before stringing it up for playing or weird things may happen to the action and the tuning.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 06:04 PM

Please see link below am interested in posible sale and value.
I'm aware it is later model the serial number is in the 69,000
series.

http://s947.photobucket.com/albums/ad313/fmpckyl/banjo/

C_mbuckley@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 08:18 PM

C_mbuckley-

Your link just bring me back to this Mudcat thread.

The 69,000 series in terms of serial numbers for Stewart banjos is confusing. Basically in the early 1890's Stewart began two parallel sets of serial numbers: one related to his regular production line and the other to the banjos he was producing for Sears & Roebuck. The higher serial numbers are associated with Sears; the quality of the banjos produced in either case depends on the model number.

Do post again when you figure out a way to make your link work.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 08:57 AM

Try this link

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31249309@N05/sets/72157624355224913/

c_mbuckley@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,dhullinger
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:19 PM

I had the SS Stewart special Thoroughbred 19303
I think if one is in great condition you should ask what you think it is worth and ignore the market. Charley Nole's comment wa that the market would not pay $2200 for an pristine Stewart. I sold it for that to a guy in California who is completely satisfied with the deal. I would like another Stewart later asthi was a great banjo set up by Elderly.

Goo luck in your quests.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:31 PM

c_mbuckley@yahoo.com-

Sorry that I didn't comment on your link. Things got very busy at my end. That's a lovely Stewart banjo and is probably a Model 3, one of the finest models. I really can't see the inside of the pot which probably has a mosaic of inlaid wood. And I can't tell if the outside of the pot is inscribed or not; it probably is.

If all things correlate you should not let that banjo go for less than $2500.

Dhullinger-

I'm happy to view your banjo as well but "pristine Stewart" doesn't tell me what model of Stewart you had. And if you succeeded in getting a better price, more power to you; but the market is not very good now, judging from what I see good banjos selling for on e-Bay.

Elderly Instruments does do a great job of setting up banjos, and it's where I bought my favorite mellow Orchestra Model 2 Stewart.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Alex Francis
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 01:37 PM

I came across a "1898" S.S. Stewart Thoroughbred. It is in ruff shape, being part of the pot is looks like its caked in dirt but the clean part of the pot looks good. The neck has very simple dot inlay pattern, and the head sporting a fancy inlay pattern. Has a Very nice looking heel carving with a nice inlay on the heal of two moons and a star. No tuners, no head, no tailpiece, and no string saddle. Most of it looks like it hasn't been cleaned in a long time. But still looks like it would clean up just fine. I was really just wondering what is might be worth in this condition and if I completely restored it what it might be worth? Thanks, Alex


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 08:58 PM

Alex-

I would need some more information to determine if it were a Model 1 or Model 2. How deep the heel is carved is one factor and another is the absence or presence of a veneer strip under the fingerboard.

Links to digital images would clear up a lot.

The pot can look absolutely disgusting and still clean up nicely. Don't use steel wool but some kind of liquid metal polish.

A Model 2 S.S. Stewart Thoroughbred in good ship would sell on e-Bay for about $1200, maybe less in this weak market.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Alex Francis
Date: 16 Sep 10 - 08:19 PM

I have been wanting to get some tuning pegs installed on my orchestra 2. I live in Dayton Ohio and cant find a Luther anywhere. So I was wanting to send my banjo out and have it set up and have the pegs installed. Any good recommendations? Any Stewart specialized luthers out there?


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: GUEST,Brad Walker
Date: 26 Nov 10 - 01:32 PM

Thoroughbred 5-string (1890-1894),some restoration pictures available For Sale
reply coyote_crossing@centurytel.net


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: E-Bay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Nov 10 - 09:40 AM

Brad-

Please post a link so we can view some pixs.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 08:19 AM

There's another nice looking S. S. Stewart Special Thorouhbred No. 2 on e-Bay that is worth a serious look: click here for website

The seller has an excellent and forthright description of this banjo. He does point out that the neck is slightly twisted and that the top nut is chipped on one side and should be replaced, and that the neck is not designed for steel strings. But it's a good example of this type of banjo and might be purchased for less than a $1000 in this weak market. The heel is nicely carved and the peghead has some excellent mother-of-pearl inlay.

There is now active bidding at the $200 level but the reserve hasn't been reached. The reserve is probably about $800.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: GUEST,Scott Malthouse
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 10:17 AM

Yes I am looking at this one unfortunately there is no international bidding , this happens a lot !! maybe a safe house should be made to save and forward banjos . Do you know of anything like that? There is another Stewart up on Ebay, a no fret with a small drum, star and dot inlay If you have the time I would appreciate reading your opinion on its authenticity.   Scott in Canada


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 10:25 AM

Scott-

Yes, I've been looking at that one as well. It seems a strange match between a full-sized neck and small pot. The dowel and pot match in terms of serial number which dates them to the early 1880's. The neck is fretless and might be an early Stewart neck but I don't think is was designed to go with the pot.

I didn't realize that some items were not available for bidding internationally until you pointed it out. Maybe we could set up a Mudcat Forum safe house! Then we could run the banjos 'cross the border in a 1920's Packard.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: GUEST,Scott
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 10:20 PM

HI !!If the Packard is put together like that banjo ? "somebody will sell us gas"?. Seriously now, storing and shipping could be be a paying job for some one with imagination a dry garage and no criminal record ummmm!! that could reduce applications! 10..4 10..4 come in all you banjo lovers!! signing out Scott A. Malthouse


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 10:42 PM

There's a very nice looking Stewart Thoroughbred Model 2 5-string banjo offered for auction on e-Bay: click for link

The "Buy it now" price of $2500 is excessive, about twice what its market value is but it is well made and looks in excellent condition. I note that one mother-of-pearl inlay is missing from the peghead but that's hardly a deal-breaker.

If you were seriously interested, I would request that the seller post additional images, and retake the out of focus one of the nicely carved heel.

It also has an extra large head, described as 11.75", which should give it a robust tone.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 02:42 PM

There's another Stewart banjo currently listed on e-Bay which is attracting some active bidding: Click here

It's a Model 1 Stewart Special, which is a lower quality banjo than the Model 2 described above. The distinguishing characteristics is the lack of a veneer reinforcing strip between the fingerboard and the neck and while the heel is carved it's not as deeply carved or as ornately carved as the Model 2. The banjo is also missing its two ebony shims between the metal bracket on the dowel stick and the pot rim; these are needed for stabilizing the angle of the fingerboard. The bid is now up to $765 which seems to me to more than the banjo is worth. $500 would be more appropriate. Nice condition, though.

From its serial number 19,373 one can place it in the late 1890's as one of the last classic Stewart banjos produced on or near the death of the company's founded.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 08:03 AM

Now this one is worth bidding on. It's a Model 2 Stewart Special Thoroughbred with a starting bid of $500: click here for transport

The seller has a detailed and excellent description. The one small but important defect is the chipped ebony topnut that needs to be replaced by a qualified luthier. Everything else looks very good for a banjo of this age. I think it could be used with light steel strings instead of the preferred nylon strings.

It's market value is about $1200.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jul 11 - 07:39 PM

Here's another classic S. S. Stewart banjo in evidently excellent condition: Click here for website!

It's a Special Thoroughbred Model 2 built around 1896-97. One could "buy it now on e-Bay for $1400 but you might get lucky bidding and get it for as little as $1200.

It's currently strung with nylon strings but with the reinforced neck (veneers strips under the fingerboard) it should hold up with light steel strings. If I didn't already have three Stewart banjos I'd snap it up.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 08:51 AM

Hey, you're missing out on a chance to big on a beautiful banjo!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 08:44 PM

And it sold for only $938. Good buy!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: GUEST,Roxane
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 02:55 PM

Can u help me.
I just heard of a Gibson 6 string, flat top mint condition, every thing original, manufactured in 1974, 75 Classic.
A very small nick in the back. I'm wondering what u could tell me of what I may be looking for price.

    Thank You.
Roxane

Could u email me back at Sparrow45@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 04:25 PM

Roxane-

I'm only familiar with the Stewart banjos.

Is the Gibson a banjo or guitar?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 08:49 PM

Just in case you've wondered what a Stewart Model 3 is supposed to look like, here an example in great condition of a S. S. Stewart Thoroughbred currently on e-Bay: Click here for PIXS!

Note the veneer mosaic inlay inside the pot; the inscribed outside medal sheathing of the pot, and the elaborate mother-of-pearl inlay on the fingerboard.

The 'Buy it Now" price should be about $2500 but what the hell, maybe someone wants to get this one for sure.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Crowhugger
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 10:20 PM

Wow, thanks Charley. Another beauty. I love this thread.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: GUEST,Ricky MAC
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 08:32 AM

I have a 03 serial no99
5 string banjo, small star on head stock, dot inlay,38 brackets, metal outer rim wood inner rim, 1 piece mahogany neck, head stock has may by ebony laminate on top, 10.5 head, no fancy woodwork, no casDo you know what it is and worth?


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 08:45 AM

Ricky-

Can you provide a link for a photo of the banjo in question? There are several sets of serial numbers from different periods of production.

I've never seen a Stewart banjo with 38 brackets. Most likely that is a typo?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: GUEST,ricky mac
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 10:36 AM

photo on photobucket
http://s1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd487/jessa8193/used/stewart%2099/


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: GUEST,ricky mac
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 12:16 PM

photo on photobucket
http://s1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd487/jessa8193/used/stewart%2099/
COPY IN BROWSER TO VIEW


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: GUEST,ricky mac
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 03:05 PM

SORRY TO WAIST YOUR TIME
I FOUND A STAMP ON THE INSIDE THAT IS VERY HARD TO SEE THAT HAS A STAR WITH VEGA IN IT


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 05:10 PM

Ricky-

You've got sharper eyes than I have if you're viewing the same 11 images or do you actually have this banjo in your possession?

Here's the hot link: click


I agree that's it's not a Stewart but it closely resembles one. However, I've never seen a Steward with more than 30 brackets around the rim. It looks like an entry level Vega and one that dates back to around 1900.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 08:03 AM

There's a S. S. Stewart Special Thoroughbred Model 3 now being offered up for bid on e-Bay that is well worth a look and a little drooling: click here!

Starting bid is around $1900 which should not be especially surprising. In a good market a Stewart banjo like this one should sell for about $2500 but maybe someone will get a good buy.

The banjo looks as if it's in excellent condition, with the exception of some missing mother-of-pearl inlay in the fingerboard and a substitute bracket or two.

What makes it a Model 3 is the deeply carved heel, the veneer strips under the fingerboard, the very elaborate MOP inlay on the fingerboard and peghead itself, the mosaic veneer inlay on the inside of the rim, and the chased border around the outside of the rim.

Too bad I'm maxed out on resident banjos.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 10:55 PM

A friend has an old SS Stewart Favorite No 1 that I am interested in buying from them - no case - in reasonably good condition ...... any idea what a fair price would be? I couldn't find any serial number on it.

I come from a ukulele background &have a banjo ukulele (modern one) so am not up to speed on banjo playing ...... yet!
thanks
RP


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 11:28 AM

The best website forum for getting feedback on such questions is "banjo hangout." A set of photos would be helpful in evaluating the banjo in question. It's probably a "Universal Favorite Model #1" from your description. One in excellent condition would sell for about $500. Beware that most Stewart banjos are not designed strong enough for steel strings, including this one.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: GUEST,Tamara
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 10:27 PM

I have a S.S. Steward Achme Professional and I need to know about how much it is worth


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Dec 12 - 08:02 AM

Tamara-

As I mentioned in my last post, just above, the place to go for free appraisal is the Banjo Hangout/Collectors Corner: click here!

Describe your banjo in detail and provide at least 3 well-focused photos of the pot, the fingerboard, and a sideview of the neck.

The value of the SS Steward Acme Professional can vary widely, from $500 to $3000.

Some of the Acme Professional banjos were not manufactured by Steward and are greatly inferior in quality.

I also frequent that forum as Charley Noble.


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Subject: RE: Stewart Banjo Fans: eBay Alert
From: GUEST,Joe Hornung
Date: 27 Dec 15 - 12:25 AM

Hello Charlie,
I have just discovered this site, is it still active?

joe28675 at hotmail.com

Edited by mudelf to make this address a bit less bot-harvestable. ---mudelf


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