Trade Card Advertisement of a Young Woman Playing a Pollmann Mandoline-Banjo, August Pollmann publisher (1894), New York City.
A very nice piece of late 19th century commercial art advertising the Pollmann Mandoline-Banjo, a unique instrument featuring a standard 5-string banjo neck grafted on to a large flat back mandolin body, which the August Pollmann Company of New York City began offering in the late 1880s. On through the 1890s, this sweet-toned instrument enjoyed some popularity in Upper Crust musical society as evidenced by this testimonial from the back of the card: "Dear Sir.-- I have noticed that the attention given by Banjoists, especially ladies, to your Mandoline-Banjo is steadily on the increase. Sacramento, California, December 23, 1893. C.A. Neale." Here we see an artist's depiction of a fashionable young lady serenading a dapper gentleman with her mandoline-banjo, possibly a high-end model dubbed "The Favorite." The legend reads: "Positively Nothing Like It. The New Society Instrument. The Pollmann American Mandoline-Banjo."On the verso, the heading proclaims: "The Mandoline-Banjo and Mandoline-Guitar. Banjo Players can perform on the Mandoline-Banjo, as Guitar Players can perform on the Mandoline-Guitar, without practice whatever." This statement is followed by nine glowing testimonials from satisfied "Professionals, Dramatists and Musical Artists" and the admonition: "The 'August Pollmann' are the GENUINE. Each of these Instruments bears that name. -- BEWARE OF IMITATIONS." (Truth be known, Pollmann, following standard practice of the period's musical instrument industry, actually contracted other makers such as John C. Haynes of Boston and James H. Buckbee of New York to manufacture some models of the mandoline-banjo.)The bottom of the back text reads: "A Pollmann Self-Instructor and a handsome Bag with each Instrument GRATIS. We can furnish you with these elegant SOCIETY INSTRUMENTS, For Prices, Information, etc., call on or address:" The space that follows for the name and address of the given store or agent is blank and unused.
Height is 6 in. (15.2 cm.), 3 1/4 in. (8.2 cm.) width Very clean with minimal corner and edge wear. A few minor bends on the card's top and bottom. Very Good + Condition.
Item # 2479 Prices subject to change without notice.