Joel Walker Sweeney Banjo, c.1845

Joel as leader of the famous "Virginia Minstrels" helped popularize the banjo throughout America and Europe. 

Bob Carlin recently wrote a book
about Joel Walker Sweeney

Joel's brother, Sampson  D. Sweeney traveled with General Jeb Stuart and was the most notable banjoist during the American Civil War. 

This reproduction is made from plans
(rubbings and dimensions) obtained from the  original at the Los Angeles County Museum in 1976.  It is a left-handed banjo made by Sweeney for his niece. 



A distinct feature is the arched neck which begins to curve down from about the octave position to meet the rim below the tension ring. The scale length is about 27" with the bridge near the center of the pot.  The neck is curly maple.  The single-ply bent wood rim is 12" x 3.25" x .25" thick.  The hardware is brass and it comes with a natural skin head, gut strings (Aquila nylgut is also available), ebony tailpiece and ebony tuning pegs.

Price: $1600.