Gibson Tenor Banjo, used by Frances Chenoweth

Gibson Tenor Banjo, used by Frances Chenoweth

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Description

This banjo was made by the Gibson, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1927. It is a Four-String Tenor Banjo, Mastertone TB-5 Model, serial number 8693-2, with black walnut shell, black walnut neck, rosewood fingerboard with iridescent ivoroid and marquetry strippings, inlay of white pearl designs, similar ornamentation applied to peghead, 4:1 geared pegs with pearl buttons, gold-tone metal parts, and a laminated and arched flange resonator with marquetry and ivoroid inlays.

This banjo was custom made for vaudevillian performer Frances Chenoweth Coan with jeweled accents on the peghead and inscribed with “Frances.”

Frances Chenoweth toured with her sister Vivian Hayes and Vivian’s husband Ed Hayes as "Ed Hayes and His Banjo Girls" from 1927-1930.

As indicated in a 1926 Gibson Banjo Catalog testimonial: “The new Gison Mastertone Tenor-banjo is assuredly a marvel instrument. Its snappy tone, coupled with the rich tonal qualities and its ease of playing, make it an instrument which can be used for all purposes – dance, radio and concert.”

Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
banjo
date made
1927
user
Chenoweth, Frances
Coan, Frances Chenoweth
maker
Gibson, Inc.
place made
United States: Michigan, Kalamazoo
Physical Description
walnut (overall material)
rosewood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
ivoroid (overall material)
animal skin (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 34 1/2 in x 13 3/4 in x 3 1/2 in; 87.63 cm x 34.925 cm x 8.89 cm
ID Number
1992.0482.01
accession number
1992.0482
catalog number
1992.0482.01
Credit Line
Gift of the family of Frances Chenoweth Coan
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Banjos
Popular Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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