This small instrument is a combination of a Ukulele and a Banjo. They were very popular in the 1920's and 1930's...as these vintage photographs show. I have been fascinated with them, and I tried one out a music store, a few years ago. However, I was really shopping for a ukulele...and I found a very nice Mahalo, one of the upscale instruments. I still have it and love it.
The banjolele still is in the back of my mind. A new fun thing to learn...and, the chords are the same as a ukulele, so the transition will be easy.