Name: Banjeaurine.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Courses: Five Single Strings.
Era: 1890-1930s.
Inventor: Samuel Swaim Stewart, 1885.
Country: United States Of America.
Region: North America, USA.

Description: The Banjeaurine, also known as Banjourine or banjorine [as advertised by Washburn] was a variant of the banjo, it is most associated with banjo orchestras from the 1890s to the 1930s. The Banjeaurine has a shorter neck, then its five string banjo counterpart. They are tuned a fourth higher in C. They do share the same amount of five individual strings. Normally there were two of banjeaurines, that are the lead instruments of the banjo orchestra.

Washburn Banjeaurine Catalogue
Washburn Banjeaurine Catalogue

A banjo manufacturer named Samuel Swaim Stewart, also called S.S invented the Banjeaurine. From Philadelphia, Stewart advertized the banjeaurine and this instrument. It became a critical part of the banjo orchestras. The banjeaurine was first introduced into the music scene in 1885. The banjeaurine was responsible for the majority of the solos in musical pieces.

Construction: Banjeaurines were most notably constructed by S.S. Stewart, many were constructed by most of the major banjo manufacturers including Washburn [see image in above paragraph], Fairbanks, Fairbanks & Cole, Cole, Vega, Wayman, Schall, Thompson & Odell, Kraske, Lyon and Healy and many others.

The 452 model instrument had a 12 inch shell, 30 brackets holding the membrane to the body all together. A neck having a much smaller length than a five stringed banjo having only 17 frets arranged in a chromatic scale from nut to the last fret. As advertised in the image above; latest improved. Nickel plated on “German silver” shells, both wired, heavy shell inside… No. 452 12 Inch Shell, 30 Brackets priced $35.00.

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