Paramount / Style C / 1921 / Stringed Instrument
Paramount Original Five-string Style C (circa 1921)
Serial # 952 (first year of production), all parts original. A mahogany neck and resonator with fancy wood marquetry on the neck, resonator and interior of the rim, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with elaborate engraved inlays, fancy inlay on the peghead, carved heel and back of the peghead. The distinctive raised-head tone ring system. Wood dowel stick running through the body, original Page tuning pegs, early model tailpiece. Small heel crack professionally repaired.
Original five-string Paramount banjos as well as five-string Gibson Mastertone banjos made prior to World War II are extremely rare. The popular music of the 1920s was early jazz or “Dixieland,” as it is now called, and most banjoists used a four-string tenor. Some excellent musicians who have tried it claim it sounds fully as good to their ear as most late-1920s raised-head Gibson Mastertones. This is an extremely rare and historically interesting instrument with great artistic appeal as well as great sound.
This particular instrument was featured in the January 2010 issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine in the article by George Gruhn and Walter Carter.
Vintage Beauty, Czech Republic
Vintage Beauty is a fun project which was put together by František Bašta and Martin Mikuláš from the Czech Republic in 2009. The momentum of this endeavor was driven by long felt love and admiration of vintage stringed musical instruments and their mystique. Being an active musician since 1987, Martin has played both banjo and guitar and was a member of different bluegrass and country bands in the Czech Republic through the years. František is primarily a businessman who doesn’t look toward this project only as an investor, but he also shares the passion for the aesthetic and tonal beauty of older and vintage instruments.
This project has no aspiration to become a new Gruhn Guitars or Elderly Instruments. By far we can never learn enough to close in on their knowledge and experience in the business, we don’t pursue it on full time basis and most importantly, we don’t live in a part of the world where banjos, mandolins, guitars or dobros are so frequent and move so quickly among musicians and collectors.
We don’t even know if we are building a small collection of older and vintage instruments or if we want to start it as a small business. What we know for sure is that we want to share the beauty of our instruments with other people who are interested – musicians, enthusiasts, customers or collectors. We are looking forward to communicate with you no matter if you want to discuss, buy, play or record with any of our instruments. Call us if you are looking for something you are not able to buy here, we can either get it for you or give you some advice where to ask. Also, if you are interested in any instrument presented on our web site and it doesn’t have a price tag, call us! Everything can be for sale if the conditions are right!
Martin & Franta