For those not familiar with the close connections between mandolins and banjos in the early 20th Century American music scene, a high-grade mandolin-banjo like this Vega draws a "what the....?" reaction. And this is a very early example, too (only two years after Vega introduced the Tubaphone tone ring). But tens of thousands of North Americans had learned to play mandolin, an instrument far too quiet to compete with horns and pianos, let alone drummers, in dance bands of the day. The solution? Put a mandolin neck on a banjo, and while the resulting tone might not be suitable for solos in the parlor the mandolin banjo player didn't have to learn a new tuning and whether playing back-up chords or soloing up a storm, being heard above the rest of a band wasn't a problem.
This example has its original Vega resonator that makes holding it in your lap far more comfy. It's original throughout with the exception of the head, of course, and the tailpiece, while old, has been altered. Original frets do have wear but it's quite playable with low and easy string action. Original finish on neck shows playing wear, the back of the resonator has been tastefully redone.