Gibson TB-1 #9812-17

#9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 front    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 back    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 peghead    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 peghead back    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 lower frets    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 middle frets    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 upper frets    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 neck heel and pot    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 lot number on neck heel

#9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 pot side    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 pot side    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 armrest    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 tailpiece    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 hardware    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 resonator bracket    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 neck heel and flange    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 Grover tuner

#9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 inside pot    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 The Gibson decal    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 factory order number in rim    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 factory order numbers in resonator    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 large factory order number in resonator    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 small factory order number in resonator    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 AMRAWCO head stamp    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 head price

#9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 resonator screws    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 #511 case    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 #511 case sticker    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 #511 case monogram    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 #511 case open    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 in #511 case    #9812-17 Gibson banjo TB-1 case candy

The style 1, priced at $50, was a mainstay of Gibson's lower-priced non-Mastertone line of the 1930s.  Style 1 had nickel-plated hardware and a dark-finished maple neck and resonator, with white binding on the neck and both edges of the resonator; the tailpiece was an inexpensive type referred to in Gibson catalogs as the "Grover first model".  Even though the Mastertone models had by this time gone to the double-cut peghead shape, the fiddle-shaped peghead was retained on style 1, with a minor modification--the two small indentations normally found under the fourth- and first-string tuners were absent.  The rosewood fingerboard was normally inlaid with a fleur-de-lis pattern which is also known by such varying names as "gulls" and "flying birds".

#9812-17 dates to 1931 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) and conforms largely to standard specifications for style 1 banjos of the period, with two exceptions; it is equipped with four resonator lugs rather than the typical three lugs of style 1 and the peghead inlay, in common with other observed examples from lot #9812, is the "diamonds and squares" pattern used on style 3 banjos in the 1920s and early 1930s.

As the only non-Mastertone of the period to feature a rosewood fingerboard with mother-of-pearl inlays, style 1 gave the Gibson factory an opportunity to use up surplus discontinued inlays from other models; TB-1 #9545-3 is inlaid with the pattern that had been used on style 2 banjos of the 1920s and on the Nick Lucas artist model guitar; TB-1 #3-21 features diamonds and squares inlay on the fingerboard as well as the peghead; and TB-1 #9719-2 is the only known example of this model to have been made with the ornate Bella Voce pattern used on one of Gibson's fanciest gold-plated, engraved, carved, and painted models of the 1920s.

While the factory order number #9812-17 is stamped inside the rim, the resonator is marked with the factory order number #9812-6; such mismatched rims and resonators are not at all uncommon and likely can be attributed to simple inattention on the part of the employee assembling the banjos.  The initials "HB" written in chalk underneath the small factory order number in the resonator have been observed on other examples from lot #9812; their significance is unknown. 

This banjo remains in original condition with the exception of a replaced tension hoop, replaced armrest mounting bolt, and a missing tailpiece cover, and is housed in its orignial #511 "Masterkraft" case by Geib and Schaefer.

This banjo is sold.  Please visit my page of Prewar Gibson Banjos for Sale to see what's available now.