The banjo is quite clean but it shows some light belt buckle marks on the back of the one-piece flame maple resonator, none through the finish. The resonator happens to be missing one thumbscrew, and the banjo may show other minor signs of normal use and wear including armrest wear. But that’s Tony’s armrest wear and his DNA is all over it. This banjo was recently set-up by Mike Munford, the well known banjo player from Pennsylvania. It is in ready-to-play condition. Tony's name is etched and blackened on the truss rod cover (see photos).
Tony Trischka told us that this banjo is the only banjo he used on the A Robot Plane Flies Over Arkansas album, and the main banjo he used from that, his first album, to the Hill Country album. He told us that “from 1981 to 1991 this was my primary instrument.” This banjo is listed on the Stelling Banjo Works’ Chronology of Important Instruments and Significant Dates, which also includes the day Marty Luther posted the Ninety-Five Theses at the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on All Saints Eve, October 31 (old calendar) in the year 1517. That date was pretty significant, but not as significant as January of 1982 when, it says, Stelling finished banjo #2174 - a Sunflower - for Tony Trishka. The first banjo made in 1982 was #2172, so this would have been the third banjo Geoff made that year.
About this model Geoff Stelling writes: “By slightly modifying and adding to the Bellflower inlay pattern, and making the neck and resonator out of curly maple instead of walnut, we've created the Sunflower. The shaded, Cremona style sunburst staining on this model is very popular and highlights the quality of the wood used.” The wood mainly used is shaded Curly Maple and the plating is nickel. We’d like to point out that this banjo has been owned and used considerably, on albums and in live performance, by one of the world’s finest and most revered banjo players. Owning this banjo (that it was used on A Robot Plane alone – one of our favorite banjo albums of all time – blows our mind) makes it a major artifact of modern bluegrass history.
$5,150 or at our Cash Discount Price, $4,995 but THIS IS ON HOLD FOR A PURCHASER AND THEREFORE NOT ON THE MARKET AT THIS TIME.