George Washburn “Improved” model 5100 5-string banjo Circa 1915, S/N 8295

In 1913, Lyon & Healy introduced a new line of "Improved" banjos with a tone ring raised on metal spikes above the rim.  This raised tone ring design was obviously intended to compete with Vega-Fairbanks "Electric" models and others including the Orpheum line made by Rettburg & Lange.  This was the top of the Washburn line in 1915.  Even fancier than an Orpheum #3 Special, this banjo has multiple laminations and fancy pearl everywhere, and a deeply carved heel.  Interestingly, It was almost certainly made by Rettburg and Lange.

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