This is a very special banjo. Three things make it special:
First it is an SS Stewart Special Thoroughbred made in the 1896-1898 time frame. I’ve always wanted one of these
Second this banjo belonged to my former banjo teacher and mentor, Joe Bethancourt. Joe passed away a little over a year ago, and his wife has begun selling a few of his instruments. I’ve actually played this very banjo. Joe brought it to one of our lessons and let me play it as much as I wanted. Whenever Joe gave a performance this SS Stewart was one of the banjos he played.
Third, when I told my sweet lady wife that I must have this banjo she thought for a minute and then offered to buy it for me as an early 40th wedding anniversary present.