Trujo Style A Plectrum Banjo , c. 1927
Trujo Style A Model Plectrum Banjo, c. 1927, made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 3016-A, black lacquer finish, laminated maple rim, laminated mahogany neck with ebony fingrboard, original black hard shell case. Item # 6607
Trujo banjos are very unusual creations, built expressly for and sold only by a teaching studio in San Francisco in the late 1920's by the name of Truett-George. Velma Truett and Harry George were the teacher-proprieters, and they had definite specific ideas about the banjo that are exemplified in this instrument. Thebbanjos were actually built for them by Gibson, but are distinctly different from the Kalamazoo company's own line although they do share some hardware and construction details. The rim is unusually deep, with a complex proprietary tone ring system and a Bacon & Day style flange and resonator-which in this case appears to be actiual B&D-supplied parts. The banjo's most striking feature is the elaborately carved peghead, that represents either a gargoyle or a monkey face with its tongue resolutely stuck out! Truett & George had a sense of the absurd, it seems! The couple claimed great things for their banjos, which certainly do have a distinctive deep but still defined and powerful sound. They are quite rare and this is a very early example, with a Gibson factory order number dating to 1927. One of the most interesting 1920's plectrum banjos one can expect to find, unique in almost every way!
Overall length is 37 in. (94 cm.), 11 in. (27.9 cm.) diameter head, and 5 in. (12.7 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 26 1/4 in. (667 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/4 in. (32 mm.). This banjo has seen some typical restoration work over the years but remains an excellent playing and sounding instrument. The neck and resonator have been professionally refinished in black, and the headstock has an added clearcoat over the original shading. The plating is original except the Gibson tone tube over the rim has been polished down to bare brass. The hardware appears original except the tuners and possibly the tailpiece, which is the correct style but chrome plated. The neck is nice and straight with the original frets in good condition with just light wear. Includes the original HSC that has been reconditionad and painted over externally. Excellent - Condition.
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