This is a Lyon & Healy "Own Make" 4 string "Tango" banjo (mando) with a 10 3/4" pot, four strings, 13" scale It has a long peghead that is very similar to the very cool Art Deco L&H Style B mandolin peghead with a maple neck that has a curly engraved bit at the tip of the peghead. The first 7 frets appear to have been replaced, has a nickel-plated metal Lyon & Healey suspended finger rest/pickguard, 22 brackets, Kirshner Unique tailpiece, nice Amraw-branded calfskin head, an unusual tone ring that leaves the head floating off the rim Some of the hooks have some rust and there is 100 years of patina present. Finish is worn off the back of the neck from playing. Original hardshell case has lots of capos, mutes, bracket nut wrenches, etc in the pocket and is missing an area of the leather cover at the butt of the case. It also has an improvised strap handle as the original leather one probably disintegrated .
Unsubstantiated additional info: ... L&H
issued a line of instruments stamped “Own Make” to indicate the instruments that were made in the home factory in Chicago. This one was made in that Chicago factory along with Washburn brand instruments and features a maple neck, ebony fretboard and a 22 bracket Van Epps style rim with the Lange style elevated tone ring. The carved peg head overlay is the same Art Deco design as the Style B mandolin..the 4-string mandolin banjo aka Tango Banjo aka Melody Banjo ...Seems they appeared on the scene about 1914 and lost their appeal about 1923 when Lange introduced his somewhat longer scale Melody Banjo. They were allegedly introduced to be used in the dance orchestras of the day. The idea was that they produced a more clean note than the regular 8 string mandolin banjo.
The "Own Make" was introduced in their 1920 catalog as the "aristocrat of banjos". The "Own Make" line seems to have ended about 1923. The "Own Make" line was made strictly in house, unlike their other banjos. However, as far as I have been able to determine only the "Own Make" made starting in 1920 used the Van Eps tension ring. That is the one where the hooks go into the middle of the ring rather than over it. The model 375 was the Tango banjo (4 string mando) and retailed for $112.50. They were only made for 1-2 years from 1920 or so.
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