based on GOURD FIDDLE images dating to the 1800s
There are two existing vintage gourd fiddles made with banjo-like skin sound boards: one in the Smithsonian institution and one in the collection of the Blue Ridge Institute. Both are constructed on a very similar plan, and are also similar to many of the earliest pictured banjos. Pete Ross has meticulously studied the instrument in the Smithsonian's collection and reproduced it, although it is generally more refined and dimensioned for contemporary players.
Click on any image above to enlarge. Walnut neck with peghead based on drawings in The Gourd Fiddle (see below). The gourd shape and soundholes are based on the instrument in the Smithsonian collection. The client wanted something that might look like it was from the 1800s, so Pete used patinated tacks, a darker skin, and a reused-leather tailpiece.