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While my banjo mandolin gently weeps
July 13, 2009 8:03 PM   Subscribe

I have just been gifted a beloved and much missed late relative's 8-string banjo mandolin. The relative bought the instrument (used) in the early-mid 1970s and died soon after. Despite googling the universe I cannot find out anything about the instrument or maker. On the head it says "Wayne" in a horizontal scroll and then vertically underneath, "Dixie". I'd love to know more about the instrument. Anyone heard of Wayne Dixie banjo mandolins?
posted by Kerasia to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you don't get more specific help here, you might give Mandolin Brothers a call. They're one of the world's best fretted instrument stores, and are a reliable source for mando history and valuation. Good luck!
posted by catlet at 8:14 PM on July 13, 2009

The Banjohangout has a well populated forum for questions such as this. I've received help there many times.
posted by imposster at 8:20 PM on July 13, 2009

Pics would go a million miles with this one.

There are originals, knock-offs, knock-offs of knock-offs, replicas of knock-offs, reissues, alternative models, etc...

Check around for a serial number, model number, manufacturer sticker in the head of the banjo, etc.. Anything that would gives us more clues.

I'm sure you have done some of this already but really get in and look.

Different styles of tuning knobs, finish, bridge, bone, and skins can clue experts in on who made it.
posted by Gravitus at 9:56 PM on July 13, 2009

Contact Herb Trotman at Fretted Instruments. He'll know. He's a luthier and a bluegrass fiend with an encyclopedic knowledge of vintage stringed instruments. He's also a really nice guy who loves to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with others and I'll bet he'd be happy to help.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:55 PM on July 13, 2009

Pics, yes a good idea. Here are some in a flickr set
A friend who plays and once worked in retail selling banjo mandolins says it is very heavy, much heavier than she is used to. And old.

Catlet, thanks. I have written to them to ask if they know anything.

Imposster, thanks also. I have posted a thread on their forums.
posted by Kerasia at 11:14 PM on July 13, 2009

There are no other numbers or names on the exterior of the instrument except the name Wayne Dixie on the head. Someone suggested that there could be more maker's information on the inside, but I am reluctant to dismantle it to check.
posted by Kerasia at 11:33 PM on July 13, 2009

I've been in communication with two of the three contacts above and am waiting for my third response. All good contacts, helpful and friendly. And neither know much at all, except that it is not American, could be British 1930s-1950s, maybe Czech or even Australian. Not worth much in dollar terms.

However, it has a lovely sound and is being played everyday. It's a mystery but all good.
posted by Kerasia at 4:25 AM on July 18, 2009

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