H.C. Dobson fretless 5-string banjo, Circa 1867

This beautiful banjo has a tag inside the resonator that says "Henry C. Dobson's Great Patent Parlor and Stage Banjos", along with instructions on how to put a head on it and what kind of bridge to use!  This is a very unusual early fretless Dobson with his unique early top-tension head tightening system.  What makes the banjo especially intriguing is the rich brass and wood marquetry ornamentation.  The stretcher band, for example, is made of wood, but it is covered with brass in a way that I have not seen previously.  The brass topped resonator almost looks like an early tenor banjo resonator.  Amazing!

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