S. S. Stewart “Universal Favorite” fretless 5-string banjo, S/N 10035, circa 1892.   

An original fretless banjo from the collection of Akira Tsumura and featured on page 189 of his book, 1001 Banjos. It is also included in Gruhn and Carter’s Acoustical Guitars and Other Fretted Instruments. This high-end banjo includes the letters "VA" in pearl in the peghead – probably the initials of the original owner. It is beautifully ornamented with pearl inlays, engraving on the outside of the rim, and unusual marquetry lining the interior. The rare mahogany neck is ornamented with exquisite peony heel carving. All five, inlayed Maltese cross tuners remain intact.

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