Gibson TB-11 # no number

Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry front    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry back    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry peghead    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry tuners    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry lower frets    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry upper frets    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry neck and pot    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry missing binding    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry tailpiece    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry Grover Patent Presto

Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry pot bass side    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry pot treble side    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry rim wear    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry rim wear    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry rim hole    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry rim hole    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry resonator bracket    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry resonator    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry resonator detail    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry pearloid resonator overlay

Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry flange and neck heel    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry inside pot    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry inside resonator    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry The Gibson decal    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry hole inside rim    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry #511 case    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry in #511 case    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry pot in #511 case    Gibson banjo TB-11 King Henry #511 case

"This model is alive with flash and color and yet is not gaudy", proclaimed Gibson's Catalog X of 1936 in describing the TB-11.  Introduced in 1931, style 11 used pearloid, blue paint, and silkscreened designs to dress up what was one of the company's less-expensive banjo offerings.  Selling for $50, half the price of the least expensive Mastertone model, the style 11 proved to be quite popular and remained in production through the early 1940s.  Besides lending "color" and "flash", the pearloid and paint provided Gibson with a way to use cosmetically flawed wood which might not have been suitable for more expensive models.

Like many style 11 banjos, this example in not marked with a factory order number or serial number.  The rim thickness of approximately .610" to .620" below the flange indicates that this banjo likely dates to the earlier period of style 11 production; two holes drilled through the rim may have accommodated wiring for the electrical lights which many players used in the calfskin-head era both to keep the head dry and tight and to enhance visual appeal while performing.  In contrast to the Grover "first model" tailpiece usually seen on style 11 banjos, this example features the more expensive Grover Presto type; the banjo remains in its original well-worn #511 case by Geib and Schaefer.  This instrument was featured for many years in performances by King Henry and the Showmen, popular entertainers in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.

This banjo is now for sale; please contact me for more information.
 


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