Ca. 1953 Trotmore Console Steel

 

Few Trotmore steels were ever built, perhaps a dozen or so; nobody has exact figures. Only one double-neck is known to exist – this one. It was in the possession of Jerry Byrd for a while in the 1950s, but it is unclear whether Byrd actually played it on stage.

Unlike Charles Miller’s Trotmore, which was painted brown and tan to resemble a wood body, this double-neck retains its original thin coating of silver paint. That allows a bit more detail to be seen, such as casting marks where the mold was fixed after fret markers were placed at the wrong frets. Those marks are identical on both necks, indicating that they were cast separately from the same mold before being welded together. A connecting bar was also welded on near the headstocks to accommodate two of the leg sockets.

The far neck is the only Trotmore neck I’ve seen without a 7th string; the headstock was actually shortened after casting. The pickup on the 7-string neck is rather unusual because the horseshoes are of different lengths; the two magnets meet slightly off-center as a result. The instrument weighs nearly 16½ lbs, enough to give it considerable sustain but not particularly heavy compared with any number of double-neck console steels.

 

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