Vega banjo dating
The resonator was hand-painted, and fancy engraved pearl inlays adorned the ebony fingerboard. Martin was winding-down its banjo production, the metal engraving was subcontracted to Liberty Banjos. Ron from everyone at the BRC for providing representative images typical of this historic crowning jewel (see below correspondences #24). I have been unable to find out anything on the web concerning this banjo.
The peg head engraving and paint motif matched the resonator. The owner of the store I purchased it from told me it was made by Martin.
I have been unable to find any info regarding the instrument.
There is NO yellow label, NO serial numbers that I can find or any decal or name anywhere. The “Eddie Peabody Model” was actually made by Vega of Boston from 1966-ca.
I play it weekly (weakly) on Monday nights at restaurant in Anaheim, California and love its sound.
The two legendary musicians in the camp photo are banjo godfather Tony Trischka and Grammy award winner Eric Weissberg (click to enlarge). Old 6 digit Vega serial numbers persisted on a yellow sticker on the inner pot until production was moved to Pennsylvania in 1972. Note the unique cluster of 3 sound apertures spaced around the tone ring of the below VIP-5 model owned by the BRC founder (SN 1364).
Close study of the flange can sometimes reveal, however, that it is left-over Vega hardware from the Needham Heights factory.
Its paper label says it was made by Vega of Boston, part of the CF Martin Co.
but it does not have the CF Martin decal on the back of the peg-head.