American Five-String Fretless Banjo


This banjo was made by an unknown maker in the United States around 1880-1882. It is a Five-String Banjo with a metal covered wood hoop, twenty-four brackets, walnut fingerboard, and friction pegs. There is a medallion on the bottom of the fingerboard:


John Howard Foote (1833-1896) was a musical instrument dealer with shops in New York City and Chicago. This instrument was sold as a “Stage Banjo” (#6972).

Date Made: 1880 - 1882

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States

See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments, Music & Musical Instruments, Banjos


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Densmore, Frances. Handbook of the Collection of Musical Instruments in the United States National Museum.

Credit Line: Gift of J. Howard Foote

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MI.055721Catalog Number: 55721Accession Number: 11535

Object Name: banjo

Physical Description: wood (hoop material)nickel (overall material)brass (bolts; nuts material)walnut (neck material)ebony (fingerboard material)pearl (tuning pegs material)Measurements: overall: 35 3/4 in x 11 1/2 in x 2 3/4 in; 90.805 cm x 29.21 cm x 6.985 cm


Record Id: nmah_605668

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.