George Formby's Abbott 'Monarch' banjolele,
Lot 125
George Formby's Abbott 'Monarch' banjolele,
Sold for £72,000 (US$ 121,019) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
George Formby's Abbott 'Monarch' banjolele,
rear of headstock stamped 4967 and neck with indistinct maker's mark, sold with background documentation


  • This is believed to have been George's favourite instrument, used extensively for both concert and studio work, including the recording of one his most famous songs, 'When I'm Cleaning Windows' and his appearance at the Royal Command Performance, 1937.

    It was sold at the auction of Formby's effects in June 1961, offered in the catalogue as lot 451, and described simply as 'Banjolele in case-damaged'. This referred to a damaged tuning peg, which the purchaser, Bill Logan, had repaired immediately. Logan, a long-time friend of Formby's, identified this as the favoured instrument amongst a number owned by Formby. It remained in Logan's possession until it passed to the current owner in the 1990s. It was displayed at the Imperial War Museum in the 1995 exhibition, 'London At War'.