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Danny
02-05-2009, 02:36 PM
This old banjo appears to be authentic, actual provenance to a specific Confederate soldier, his name on it in view b attached. A good pattern to follow with measurements indicated. The eBay listing:

"The Civil War soldier by the name of James Noel who owned and made this banjo enlisted June 6, 1861 into the confederate 11th Virginia Infantry Company E at age 21. Before his enlistment he was a carpenter by trade. Most of the boys in the 11th infantry company E were from Lynchburg, Virginia. The information dates and locations that I am describing is out of a Civil War book written by William Henry Morgan of Lynchburg, VA. in the year of 1911 entitled "Personal Reminiscences of The War of 1861 through 1865" in which Morgan was in the 11th Virginia Infantry also. In his book Company E on page 44 the roster listed Private James H. Noell...who lived through the entire Civil War.

...The box on the banjo is made of a wooden cheese box. It appears by the grain to be oak. We cannot tell what type of wood the neck and staff are. It has one existing peg left and looks to be original. The peg has 2 holes in which we were told he (Jay) could take them out and tie them up while marching. From the nut down there is a 4" copper plate tacked to the neck. 5th string tuner appears to be original also. 5th string tuner cut out is very unique (as shown in picture). The 6 ban clamps appear to be brass, they have insigma bars and stripes. J.Noel name in 1" letters enlay into the staff. Everything has been left original. Then length of this banjo is 34". Neck is 21 1/4". Cheese box body 12". It has splits in cheese box in 2 places. It has a chunk out of the head stock. Also splits were the tuners have been."

Dan Wykes