Fairbanks & Cole "Imperial" 5-string banjo, S/N 8246, Circa 1888

This exquisite banjo is the finest F&C "Imperial" banjo that I have seen.  In addition to some of the best saw-cut pearl inlay work seen on any banjo, it is ornamented with 31 five point stars inlayed between each of the rim brackets, each made of five pieces of pearl.  It also features cobra hooks and square nuts, an ebony backstrap, and an ornamentally cut fretboard extension.  The tuning pegs are inlaid with abalone dots and both the pegs and the tailpiece are carved ivory.

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