A Windsor "Popular" Model 5 zither bango belonging to Dr Leonard Hussey

A Windsor 'Popular' Model 5 zither banjo that belonged to Dr Leonard D.A. Hussey, the meteorologist on the Imperial Transantarctic Expedition ship 'Endurance', led by Sir Ernest Shackleton. The 1930 company catalogue for the No. 5 model described it as being made with 'Round Shoulders, Walnut Neck, Rosewood Body with white line, best quality fittings, heavily Chrome Plated. Windsor Patent Bezel, Tailpiece and Pressure Bar. Best quality machines, finest selected Vellum. A very good professional instrument." The ebony fingerboard was inlaid with mother of pearl.

The banjo has been signed by expedition members and others as follows 'E.H. Shackleton, Frank Wild, Ruby Page de Braun, Frank A. Worsley, L. Rickenson, George E. Marston, L.D.A. Hussey, A.H. Macklin, Frank Hurley, A.J. Kerr, F.W. Edwards, J.M. Wordie, T.O. Lees, C. Green, A. Cheetham, R.W. James, L. Greenstreet, Robert S. Clark, Harry McNeish'. The banjo comes complete with a plywood and rexine-covered carrying case (AAB0225.1).

The banjo was used extensively by the crew living on Elephant Island awaiting rescue. Shackleton wrote in 'South' - "This banjo was the last thing to be saved off the ship before she sank, and I took it with us as a mental tonic. It was carried all the way through with us, and landed on Elephant Island practically unharmed, and did much to keep the men cheerful. Nearly every Saturday night such a concert was held, when each one sang a song about some other member of the party. If that other one objected to some of the remarks, a worse one was written for the next week."

Object Details

ID: AAB0225
Collection: Toys, games and music
Type: Banjo
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Windsor, Arthur Octavius
Events: Antarctic Exploration: Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1916
Date made: before 1913
People: Hussey, Leonard Duncan Albert
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 110 x 950 x 335 mm
Parts: A Windsor "Popular" Model 5 zither bango belonging to Dr Leonard Hussey

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