S. S. Stewart “Champion” 5-string custom-made banjo, S/N 15747, circa 1894.
An original instrument from the collection of Akira Tsumura and featured on page 186 of his book, 1001 Banjos, This, very unusual, and most likely custom-ordered instrument has an 11-1/2 inch German silver spunover rim with exquisite marquetry inlaid on the interior. The pearl inlay is a pattern I have never seen on a Stewart with engraved butterflies throughout the fingerboard and even more unusual inlay on the peghead. The heel of the cherry neck is elaborately carved featuring a princess face and the back side of the peghead is also relief carved with flowers and twin dolphins. This is one of the most beautiful Stewart banjos I have ever seen.
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