W. A. Cole 5-string banjo, S/N 163, Circa 1890

This is a very early Cole banjo made shortly after he split up with Fairbanks in 1890.  The banjo is essentially a Fairbanks & Cole "Imperial" banjo but with no model designation and only Cole's name on it.  Note the neck angle adjustment mechanism that appears on all Cole's Eclipse banjos is present even on this early model.  The heel is lightly carved in a beautiful manner.

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