1845 - The Boucher Player

1845 - The Boucher Player
Oil on canvas
42” x 48”
 

Early versions of the banjo date back to ancient times in Africa,
the Middle  East and the Far East.  Nothing more than  strings
stretched from a neck over a drum or gourd, the instrument came
to America with the slave trade.  Around 1840 the banjo and the
minstrel show became the rage.

At the same time, William Esperanza Boucher Jr. began
manufacturing banjos in his Baltimore factory.  They were popular
with the minstrel era musicians and many soldiers in the Civil War
carried a Boucher banjo.

The frontiersman playing the Boucher is using the stroke style. 
Around 1865 the guitar style developed and the strings were
picked with the fingers.  Note the neck has no frets as they had
not yet been developed.

Pronunciation for “boucher”:  boo-shey

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