Gibson PB-Granada Mastertone #9562-5

This banjo has been in the same family since it was bought in a pawn shop circa 1953.   The Granada of the 1930s featured curly maple with a sunburst finish on the back of the resonator, gold-plated hardware with engraving on the tension hoop and armrest, a one-piece flange, and a double-cut peghead.  The majority of prewar Granadas were tenors and came with forty-hole archtop tone rings.  Circa 1929, however, Gibson started equipping some Mastertone banjos, typically plectrums and five-strings, with the new flathead tone ring which, according to Gibson catalogs of the period, provided greater “twang and sweetness” for plectrum and five-string tunings.

#9562-5 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) is one such plectrum banjo and has an original high-profile twenty-hole flathead tone ring with an uncut Mastertone label.  The Grover clamshell tailpiece is engraved “Granada” and the plectrum neck features a rare combination of inlays; the Brazilian rosewood fingerboard is inlaid with a variation of the hearts and flowers pattern, while the peghead is inlaid in the wreath pattern normally seen on style 5 banjos of the 1920s and on a small number of style 3 banjos of the 1930s.  This banjo is currently set up with a five-string neck by Frank Neat which duplicates the original plectrum neck.

Photos courtesy of an anonymous collector.