IBMA Trust Fund auction for 45th anniversary Prucha banjo

The IBMA Trust Fund is currently hosting an auction for a unique and exquisite banjo made by Jarda Prucha, and given to the Trust Fund in celebration of the 45th anniversary of Prucha Banjos building professional grade banjos and mandolins in the Czech Republic.

If you attended this year’s World of Bluegrass convention, you will have seen this very banjo on display. It’s an Alison Brown Signature Model, part of Prucha’s Spirit Banjo series. It is valued at roughly $3,750 at today’s exchange rates.

Prucha described this relatively new model as follows:

“The Spirit Alison Brown Signature Model that actually initiated the project is slightly different. I wanted to create a banjo that projects a sound which is not that sharp, has less sustain, and better tone separation; a mellow tone with accentuated bass range. That’s why we chose mahogany, a massive resonator in tobacco brown finish, and understated tortoise three-ply binding.

The radiused fingerboard is slightly wider; it measures 1.3 inches at the nut, and features 24 frets with an extension over the head. The two-piece flange adds to the ‘shorter’ tone. Subtle pearl inlays underline the robust size of the new peghead design. Inlays are placed at standard fret positions.

I sincerely hope this banjo will become Alison’s soulmate in her own, distinctive music world as well as a tool for ripping classic, hard-driving bluegrass licks. I’m sure it will become our most popular model.”

The nameplate block, which normally would showcase Alison’s signature, instead has a special 45th anniversary inlay in etched and stained abalone.

Bids will be accepted on eBay through 1:04 a.m. on December 22. The Trust Fund has announced that they are only able to ship within the continental US. Looks like someone will be getting a fabulous Christmas present.

Jarda explained what led him to donate this lovely banjo in support of the Trust Fund, which offers financial assistance to members of the bluegrass community in times of need.

“Bluegrass and banjo is all my life and it gave me a lot of happiness, joy and many good friends, so me and my family wanted to thanks to all the fine people.”

To date, the Trust Fund has administered more than $850,000 in relief funds. You can learn more about their valuable work, or look into making a donation, by visiting them online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.