1890s Junkpile Unmarked 5-String Fretless Banjo

This weirdo arrived as a trade-in that I took on as a "partser." It sat upstairs in storage for ages, however, until a local customer said they were interested in a fretless 5-string on the cheap. Ancel whipped this up to suit that need and it was sold at cost -- labor and parts. Since then, the owner decided that fretless banjo is perhaps not their thing, so it's back here for resale.

While the whole thing is absurdly quirky (note the weird, wide wooden nut and the slots cut into the faceplate to allow for decent back-angle on the strings for starters), it's a good player and has a decent sound. It combines a longer scale (25 3/4") with a smaller rim (10") and so the bridge hits the head lower down on it. This gives it a spankier sound but also means you get a "normal scale" banjo in the sizing of a smaller, A-scale instrument.

It's lightweight, low stress, and fun -- though if you're looking for a steel-string fretless, don't bother -- this is only suited to gut/Nylgut/nylon strings.

Repairs included: board plane and conversion to fretless, new tuners, much cleaning, setup, etc.

Weight: 3 lbs 0 oz

Scale length: 25 3/4"

Nut width: 1 1/4"

Neck shape: medium soft V

Board radius: flat

Head diameter: 10"

Depth overall at rim: 2 3/8"

Rim wood: unknown

Tonering: none

Bridge: maple/ebony

Fretboard: ebonized maple

Neck wood: maple (or similar)

Action height at 12th fret: 3/32" overall (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: Aquila Nylguts

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: none

Condition notes: clearly, it's very funky. We never yanked the aluminum sheet repairs off of the headstock but I'm assuming they were done to hide an old repair of some sort. It's been stable so I'm not worried about it. It's such a cobbler's job that I'm not sure what's new and what's old, for sure. I'm assuming that most of the hooks and nuts are older (1910s/1920s) but that they may not have belonged to this when it was made (1890s). The tuners are all new stuff -- the 4 ones at the headstock are nice, fresh Gotoh units and the 5th peg one turns backwards from what's expected (oops) but is high-ratio. The tailpiece and bridge are, of course, not original. 

It comes with: sorry, no case.

Consignor tag: OK