Antique 5-String ZITHER BANJO (5th string runs THRU neck). Made in England - Arthur J. Wilmshurst Neck paired with Arthur O. A Zither Banjo is identified by the unusual deviation from traditional 5-string banjos in that the Zither banjo is designed to tube the 5th string thru the neck to the peghead (which is often just like a typical guitar peghead with 6 tuning machines; the extra tuner is not used but could be put in service should one of the other tuner gears break or otherwise become unstable). Although this type of instrument is known as a Zither Banjo it actually has no similarity to or relationship to a Zither.
Our research tells us that many Zither Banjos were made in the United Kingdom during the 30 or so years before and after 1900 and this nice example is one of those. The neck heel is stamped with the name of Arthur John Wilmshurst of London as the maker but we believe the top tension pot to which it is affixed was designed and made by another Zither Banjo maker, Arthur Octavius Windsor. There are no markings to confirm this and we have not disassembled the banjo to see if anything inside so indicates; but some internet research did seem to confirm this top tension pot as being his design. Beyond that we can tell you little more about this particular instrument other than it frets out and plays very well and has a perfectly straight neck and a VERY loud bright reverberating sound. I have had it just hanging on the wall since I acquired it from a local estate a couple of years ago and nothing has been done to it other than a new set of strings (which we presently have tuned down 2 half tones to an open F chord).
There is one small area on the side of the pot (see last picture) where the surface has bubbled just slightly. Also, a little shrinkage of the neck wood has occurred so that a some edge dressing of frets may be desirable if you plan to play the instrument. Otherwise, just blow off a bit of dust and this fine old instrument is ready-to-go!
35-1/2" overall length and the distance nut to bridge is 26". The pot is 10-1/2" in diameter and the skin head is 8" across. Net (before packing) weight is 5 pounds 9 ounces. Unless otherwise mentioned above or herein, this item or items is/are in excellent pre-owned antique or vintage condition and is/are free from dings, dents, chips, nicks, cracks, hairlines, stains or discoloration, heavy scratches, repairs, or other significant issues of mention.Thank you for looking at, and considering this offering. Be required on any lower valued package.
To your Favorite Sellers list. The item "DUTCH AUCTION(y787) OLD 5-String ZITHER BANJO Wilmshurst Neck / Windsor Pot" is in sale since Thursday, January 16, 2020.
This item is in the category "Musical Instruments & Gear\String\Folk & World\Banjos". The seller is "estate-archaeologists" and is located in Sun City, Arizona. This item can be shipped to United States.