J.B. Schall (unmarked) fretless 5-string banjo Circa 1880
Although this banjo is unmarked, it is clearly an early J.B. Schall fretless banjo as identified by the rim hardware, the peghead shape, and the way the neck is carved out for the 5th string tuner. Schall was a Chicago maker who made many unmarked banjos and many other banjos carrying the names of banjo teachers who sold the instruments to their students (see the Schall-made Denzel banjo also in my collection). Despite its simplicity, this is a beautiful and elegant banjo. The nickel plated plate that serves as the fingerboard for the first five frets and the inlaid ivory fret markers thereafter are particularly nice.
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