A. F. Eibel (Malden, MA) 5-string banjo Circa 1890ís

Eibel was an obscure maker from the Boston area (this banjo is from Malden, MA, and another one in my collection is from Reading, MA), but his banjos are made to the same quality standards as the Fairbanks and Cole instruments and they are quite interesting in other ways.  This banjo is obviously patterned after a F&C "Imperial" banjo from the same period, with a half-spun wood rim, an extended fretboard, and beautiful saw-cut inlays.  Note, however, that the bracket nuts are countersunk, as shown in the picture below.  This is one of the first attempts to provide a smooth resonating surface on the interior of the rim.  The six Eibel banjos in my collection are among the only complete examples extant, to my knowledge.  Please let me know if you know of others.

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