This early Stelling is sorta familiar even though we haven't seen it in many years because we sold it for the original owner a little over 20 years ago. The buyer was a Gryphon friend Richard played with in string bands now and then. We've sold a few Golden Cross Stellings over the years but this is the only one with the optional engraving on the metal parts, and it's the earliest one as well. The engraving is impressive art work, as photos 9 and 10 indicate, the kind of finishing touch you used to find on the finest banjos during the Jazz Age but not something you often see today. When this banjo was made Stelling was in its 5th year, and it's clear all the early Stelling trademarks were in place. This got a fair amount of playing when our friend first got it but he takes excellent care of his instruments and it didn't get bounced around. There's a little fret wear as shown, and minor surface wear to the finish, about the only change is the Shubb capo. The original case shows more wear than the banjo but it's solid throughout. The Golden Cross model, by the way, was named after one of Geoff Stelling's friends, Tony Golden, and was the banjo model played by one of bluegrass banjo's greatest players in his later years, Don Reno.