hawthorn banjos

Bradford & Franzke Hawthorn® Bow Tie Banjos

We are very excited about our full line of Hawthorn Bowtie banjos. Our Bowties are our most popular and best-selling banjos. In the 1950s and 60s, Gibson built the vast majority of their classic Bowtie banjos out of mahogany. Gibson did reportedly build a handful of maple Bowties. To the best of our knowledge, we don't believe that Gibson ever built a walnut Bowtie. Also, most of the Gibson Bowties of the 1950s and 60s were archtop tone ring banjos rather than the flat head tone ring banjos more popular with today's bluegrass banjo players. We offer our Hawthorn Bowties in all three popular banjo tonewoods:  the traditional mahogany, maple, and walnut. In keeping with tradition, our unique walnut Bowtie features all chrome plated metal parts.

We can offer virtually any tone ring and rim combination on the market. Our favorite combinations of tone ring and rim are the venerable Tennessee 20 flat head tone ring paired with a Jimmy Cox three-ply rock maple rim, the new Kulesh Big 10 flat head tone ring with a Randall Wyatt or Tony Pass birch block rim, and our own Ozark Thunder "No Hole" flat head tone ring with the Jimmy Cox or Brian Sims three-ply rock maple rim. An option on all of our Bowties is the Sullivan archtop tone ring. We have recently sourced the period-correct "tulip" tuner buttons for our Bowties. An option are the reissued Kluson tuners as used on the original Gibson Bowties, complete with "tulip" tuner buttons. Players who have played our Bowties have raved about the tone and volume. You can hear Phil Easterbrook play our mahogany Bowtie at Carter Vintage Guitars at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rtwacyso2u4.