WEYMANN INSTRUMENT REGISTRY – Insights – 300 Instruments

I now have 300 Weymann instruments registered with their serial numbers and other information.

Please keep registering your Weymann instruments, the information is invaluable.  I’ll provide further updates as the numbers grow, but for now here are some findings and insights from the 300 instruments registered so far:

  1. There is no doubling up of serial numbers which supports the assumption that all Weymann stringed instruments are in the same serial number sequence.
  2. One instrument (a bowl-back mandolin) does not have a gold decal label or any style or serial number but does have a Keystone State logo impressed into the back of the headstock. I think this pre-dates the gold decal label:
    These stampings have also appeared on a couple of banjos without decals:

    and I did mention them in the Registry request post, however it now appears these were maybe used on all instruments before the gold decals appeared.  Almost certainly any instrument with one of these stampings is pre-1900.
  3. 7 instruments registered don’t have serial numbers (but do have the early gold decal, [style ‘A’]. I believe these are early instruments before Weymann started using serial numbers, most likely also pre-1900.
  4. The earliest serial number I have recorded is just over 1300.
  5. The following are the approximate serial numbers and years of manufacture of the different gold decal label shapes:(Note: Shape D was used just for mandolutes, and Shape F just for Resonators. Also note that the wording inside the decal shapes can vary)
    Update 13 Jan 2020: Just registered an instrument with Shape A  decal with serial number in the 13590’s. So revising the table for Shape A serial number range  0 – 13600, and Shape B range 13600 – 22900.
  6. Style numbers on all instruments were not introduced until  about 1914, just after the Shape ‘B’ decal was introduced.  This means that if an instrument has the style ‘A’ decal, it is unlikely to have a style number.  The earlier instruments also do not carry a serial number.
  7. Where there are consecutive serial numbers they are often the same style of instrument. Which indicates to me they were made in small batches (of maybe 6-12 instruments or even less). This is supported by this photograph where we can see six F hole guitars lined up in production:

    Music Trade Review – 10 February 1917, p.51.
  8. There is a great diversity of instruments, and while I don’t believe the sample is large enough yet to give an indication of the proportion of each instrument made, it does show the range of instruments and their different variations:
    BANJOS 151 registered – Includes four- string (plectrum and tenor), five- string, six-string (guitar Banjo), mandolin banjos, ukulele banjos, and harp wood banjos.
    GUITARS 49 registered – Rarely are there 2 guitars the same.
    MANDOLUTES 45 registered
    MANDOLINS 33 registered
    UKULELES 20 registered
    ZITHER 1 registered
    BABY GRAND PIANO 1 registered – (the piano has a serial number which would date it to c.1923 if it is the same sequence as the stringed instruments).

I’ll revisit this review of Registry findings when there are more instruments added that brings more information to light.

All the best

Charles

10 thoughts on “WEYMANN INSTRUMENT REGISTRY – Insights – 300 Instruments

  1. Thanks for the info, Charlie. I’m surprised to see a zither and a baby grand piano listed. I intend to learn everything before I die and I reckon this information gets me closer to my goal. I can’t leave this world ’til I know everything. I knew everything at age 16 but a lot of it got lost by the time I was 25. Keep up the good work, mate. Happy New Year from Texas.

    1. Hahahaha thanks James. Seems like I should have known you when you were 16 then! I use these posts to empty my mind, once it’s written down I can forget it. This is why there are times that I say the same information over again in a different post, I’ve forgotten I’ve already posted it. See if we can both survive 2020 Jim, if not …. Charlie

  2. Great stuff as usual Charles. Just acquired an A-scale 5-string banjo. And put it on the registry. Got pix I can send. Love to get your thoughts since there’s not much info on this model on the web. Nice to hear from you. Happy new year.
    Gerry Hemming, Baltimore, US

    1. Hi Gerry, With your low serial number (just under 4000) this banjo would date to about 1900. There is so little information available about these early instruments, the earliest wholesale catalogue I have is c.1924. As mentioned earlier in this post, style or model numbers did not appear until about 1914. I am not really a banjo guy but I’m sure if you posted some pics and request for information about your banjo on a banjo blog someone will respond with some information about it. All the best, Charles

    1. Depends on quite a few things. Model, condition etc. I am not a vintage mandolin expert, suggest if you have one to sell maybe contact a mandolin blog like the MANDOLIN CAFE or a vintage instrument appraiser. Sorry I’m not much help. Stay safe, Charles

  3. Charles,

    Thanks for all this great information. Really, all of it. I recently purchased a Bay State Model A (already registered I believe) which is what brought me here, but I wanted to leave a comment to let you know that people are seeing this stuff. I’m becoming increasingly interested in these smaller, bespoke pre-WWII guitars. Quite a rabbit hole. Many thanks, I hope you’re keeping your health.

    Craig

  4. Thanks for all the work on this Charles. I like to check in on your site occasionally and see what’s new. I have a 1931 Model 749 KOA Concert size guitar that is registered here. May think about selling it one day, but hard to determine a value.
    Take care
    Keith

    1. Hi Keith, Many thanks for the kind words. I hope to publish some more posts soon. If you subscribe on the homepage you will get notification of those (if you haven’t already). The next post will be different Philadelphia addresses of Weymann & Son and family with current photos. Primarily the research of a Weymann fan that I’m passing on. Regards the value of the Weymann Koa, if you send me a direct email with some photos, charles@koolaru.com I could probably give you a ballpark figure. All the best, Charles

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