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Work Samples

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Custom gourd banjo made by Pete Ross.
The design on this gourd banjo is inspired by Surinamese decorative art elements, paying tribute to the South American country that is home to two of the three known early gourd banjos.

Custom Victorian Peghead

Peghead of banjo with mother of pearl inlay and engraving.
Guilded Age-inspired banjo with intricate inlay and engravings. Children of the upper classes had a flirtation with the banjo an it's exoticism. This instrument references those ideas with imported ebony wood and inlayed and engraved mother-of-pearl, with designs inspired by William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement.

Slotted Peghead Banjo

Based on the designs of Ashborn guitars and banjos from the mid-1800s, but designed to be playable for contemporary banjoists.

Romance Era Banjo

Banjo with slotted peghead made by Pete Ross.
This banjo represents an aesthetic blend of early industrial banjos (1875-1885) along with Romance Era guitars and banjos. Although these elements are from the 19th century instruments, I wanted a banjo that would play 20th century pitches with steel strings.

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About Pete

Baltimore City

PETE ROSS is a banjo maker, researcher, and musician who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Ross is one of earliest contemporary makers of gourd banjos, ranging from those of his own design to exact replicas of historic instruments. His reconstructions of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century banjos have been featured internationally in museums, art galleries, movies, documentaries, and live performances.  Mr. Ross holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in... more

Victorian-Era Banjos

The Pioneer Batch was a special run of banjos based on late 1800s Fairbanks and Cole Eclipse designs. Highly ornate in a Victorian style, with inlaid mother of pearl and hand-engraved.

  • Cole-Style Peghead

    Modeled on the Cole banjos of the late 1800s and early 1900s, designed to be playable for contemporary banjoists.
  • Fairbanks Close-Up

    Modeled on the A.C. Fairbanks banjos of the late 1800s and early 1900s, designed to be playable for contemporary banjoists.
  • Custom Victorian Peghead

    Peghead of banjo with mother of pearl inlay and engraving.
    Guilded Age-inspired banjo with intricate inlay and engravings. Children of the upper classes had a flirtation with the banjo an it's exoticism. This instrument references those ideas with imported ebony wood and inlayed and engraved mother-of-pearl, with designs inspired by William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement.

Mid 1800s Banjos

Based on concepts from mid-1800s banjo and guitar makers, but designed to be playable by contemporary banjoists.

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Pete's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.