A. C. Fairbanks  “Whyte Laydie” No. 7, sn. 22616, ca. 1903

This banjo, made just before the fire that destroyed the Fairbanks factory and forced the sale of the company to Vega, is among the models most coveted by both players and collectors. With its bracket band and “electric” tone ring, it was a technological tour-de-force at the time, and the carved heel, marquetry inlay, and engraved pearl inlays were executed at the time when such artistry was at its peak.  This particular banjo was apparently exported to England, where banjos were as popular around the turn of the last century as they were in the U.S.  The tooled leather case has a silver plate with the name "George Brown" on it - probably the original owner.


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