The Whyte Laydie line of banjos from the Boston-based Fairbanks company are among their (or any makers') most beautiful creations -- in sound and appearance. This 1908 Whyte Laydie No. 7 is a really fine example of the banjo maker's art. The ornate appointments include elaborately engraved fingerboard inlay (all engraving is still crisp and strong-- with an almost "3D" aura to it), original gold plated tuners, pearl tuner buttons, and intricately carved neck heel. There is beautiful colored wood marquetry on the inside edge of the pot. All metal is bright and shiny.
No corrosion or rust.
As expected, there is wonderful engraved pearl gryphon on the back of the headstock. There are typical cracks in the pear wood headstock veneer. Without those the banjo could pass as being a couple years old rather than over 100..!
10-15/16" head diameter, 27-1/8" scale.
28 cobra hooks (One is a later Vega replacement)
Original "short bump" arched-top hard case with replaced handle.
The instrument has no issues and ranks at the highest end of the best sounding, best looking and most elaborate of any era. This is a collector/investor grade banjo.
This instrument has not been on the market before, and there are no others like it being offered, as far as I can see.