Stratton & Handley (by Cole) 5-string banjo, Circa 1895

A number of banjos marked "Stratton & Handley" (of Lowell, Mass.) have been found that are obviously made by W. A. Cole.  This banjo appears to be one of a pair made for a couple whose last name begins with "R" (see the heel inlay initials on this banjo and the S&H banjeaurine in my collection).  Both banjos are identical in construction and in their beautiful engraved inlay patterns, and both have ebony backstraps and Cole's neck brace and patented neck adjuster.

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