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Established 1970

Featured Inventory Archives 1999-2012

Gruhn Guitars Fairbanks Vega

1923 Fairbanks-Vega Deluxe 5-string

By 1923 the Jazz Age was cranking up and the tenor banjo was coming into its own. Five-strings were few and far between, and this Deluxe model (inv. #JA2678) from the Fairbanks-Vega company of Boston is an especially rare piece.

Although tenor banjos had begun sporting resonators, this five-string is true to the "classical" open-back style of earlier times. The ornate appointments include elaborately engraved fingerboard inlay, the long carved neck heel, engraved gold-plated hardware and abalone edging on the rim.

The head is 10 15/16" in diameter, and the original hard case has the "long bump" to accommodate the fifth string peg. In exceptionally fine condition, this banjo is priced at $15,000.

Also of interest... a 1907 Fairbanks Whyte Laydie No. 7 5-string.

This instrument is SOLD

For further enjoyment...

Close of body

Upper area of fingerboard

Fingerboard at fifth-string peg

More fingerboard area


Back of headstock

Rim/neck area

Full back shot

Close of back

Heel cap

Neck heel carving

Side of rim