Fairbanks & Cole "Imperial" 5-string banjo, S/N 8654, Circa 1888

This is a very fancy F&C "Imperial" banjo which is kind of a sister to my F&C S/N 8246. A fair amount of the pearl work was missing when I got it and it has been beautifully restored by Robbie Mortillaro, who had to re-create the missing inlays using photos from similar banjos and the routings on the fingerboard. The banjo also features cobra hooks, a nicely carved heel, an ebony backstrap on the peghead, and unusual brass bar frets.

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