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Leedy Solotone Plectrum Banjo and Hard Shell case - Commission Sale

Leedy Solotune front
  • Leedy Solotune front
  • Leedy Solotune Headstock
  • Leedy Solotone Back
  • Leedy Solotone heel
  • Leedy inside pot
  • Leedy Solotine headstock back
  • Leedy Solotune side neck
  • £1,800.00

Rare 1920's Leedy Solotone Plectrum Banjo. A very decorative banjo from the golden age of banjo making and still has a great tone. Featuring a yellow pearloid fingerboard, headstock and back of resonator. Elaborately carved heel. Gold plated. See below for more details and images. Commission Sale.
View a detailed description here

  • Description
  • Delivery and Returns

This particular Leedy Solotone was last owned and played by Bob Rogers. A well respected session musician who played for many years with acts like The Ted Taylor Four, Adam Faith,Freddie and the Dreamers and in later life was part of  the much loved 'Skinnerettes..Frank Skinners TV backing band.


  • Gold plated rim -
  • 28 rim bolts - top tension style
  • Pearloid faced fingerboard with detailed wood binding
  • Bone nut
  • Pearloid faced headstock
  • Pearloid faced heel plate
  • Pearloid back of resonator
  • Gold rear facing geared tuners with pearloid buttons
  • 2 Footed maple/ebony bridge
  • White smooth top head
  • Gold plated adjustable armrest
  • Gold plated Kershner style taipiece

Tuning: DGBE but can be tuned standard plectrum CGBD or other tunings

Finish: Natural Gloss finish

Case/Gig Bag: Original fitted case

Set-Up: Each banjo we supply is individually set up in our on-site Specialist Workshop here at Eagle Music. Any banjo purchased from Eagle will be fully SET UP, checked for intonation and playability and tuned ready for playing straight out of the box!

Information about Leedy Banjos and the Solotone

The Leedy Drum Company was founded in 1898 in Indianapolis, and it remained a highly successful operation for several decades. By the mid 1920s, the company’s leadership noticed the huge popularity of the tenor and plectrum banjo among contemporary jazz ensembles. Along with other drum makers such as Slingerland and Ludwig, Leedy spent massive amounts of capital tooling up to build banjos. Unfortunately, Leedy got on board the banjo train shortly before the instrument’s popularity started to wane, and the company was unable to recoup the money it spent on tooling. The company was in dire financial straits by 1929, when it was sold to the Conn company. Conn also purchased Ludwig shortly after, and within a few years it had discontinued the banjo lines of both brands.

Unlike most other builders of the day, the models in Leedy’s banjo line were nearly all the same in terms of construction. The lowest-level models, which were not cheap, employed the same methods of construction as the highest-level ones. The walnut rim was encased in a brass outer shell that doubled as the tone ring. The hoop was attached with a top-tension system. It allowed the head to be adjusted without removing the resonator. In the days when skin heads were the norm, this allowed players to make frequent adjustments on the fly.

The history of Leedy banjos is as difficult to piece together as it is short. It appears that the company introduced its first banjos – the Solo Tone line – in 1924 or 1925. These were fairly traditionally decorated with pearl inlays in ebony fretboards and headstocks. The brass rims and hoops were engraved; some were plated in nickel or gold, but some were left unplated depending on the model. A few rims were finished in black. Resonators were sometimes left as bare wood (usually walnut to match the necks) or, probably later, covered with pyralin veneers. The highest-end models featured carved heels.

Advertisements from mid 1926 announced a new line of Leedy banjos, to which my Amphion belongs. These new models featured the same construction and most of the same hardware as the Solo-Tones (which appear to have been discontinued around this point) but the decoration was largely revamped. The new lineup made extensive use of plastic veneers, some with pearloid finishes and some with embedded sparkles. Most of these plastic surfaces showed some degree of engraved decoration, darkened with ink to make it visible. The expensive “National” line (including the Egyptian, Grecian and Hollander models) had resonator engravings and heel carvings depicting stereotypical scenes from their namesake countries.



Delivery & Returns

  Royal Mail announce changes to Special Delivery and Customer Service Points.
In light of the recent advice given by the government regarding COVID-19, please be aware of the following announcement from Royal Mail advising of changes to their services.

Special Deliveries.

Due to increased absence levels, we’ve reviewed our timed guarantees for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am and 1pm services and will make the following changes.

For items posted from Tuesday 31 March 2020 onwards, our guarantee delivery for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9.00am the next working day will change to by 12.00pm the next working day*. Our guaranteed delivery for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1.00pm will change to by 9.00pm the next working day*.

We will endeavor to ensure that orders are speedily processed and despatched the same day if at all possible.

Ordered items requiring setting up in the workshop will be despatched within 1-2 days using DPD Local Next Day Delivery (next day being the day after it leaves Eagle Music Shop). On the day of delivery you will receive a text message with your hours delivery time slot

You will be informed immediately if there is a problem with any part of your order or if any item is 'out of stock'.

NB : Orders processed on a Saturday but will not leave us until the Monday as Royal Mail and DPD Local do not collect from us at the Weekend.

You can read our full deliveries policy here.

Should you not be entirely happy with your purchase, or you have ordered an incorrect item, Eagle Music is happy to refund your purchase (excluding postage) within 28 days providing the goods are in a fully resaleable condition (including the original undamaged packaging) and not featured within the Exclusion Policy. (Exclusions apply to selected products).

Please note the following exclusions:

DVD's and CD's cannot be returned unless they are faulty

Banjo heads cannot be returned once you have tried to fit them to your banjo

Harmonica's have a 7 day guarantee and can be returned within this time if they are found to be faulty

Goods must be returned to Eagle Music together with a covering letter and contact details so that the matter can be dealt with efficiently and promptly.

You can read our full returns policy here.


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