This original RB-2 was shipped along with RB-1 #919-5 to South African dealer H. Polliack and Co., Ltd. on December 17, 1936. The “Made in U.S.A.” label inside the resonator and “Made in the U.S.A.” stamp on the back of the peghead are typical of export models, as is the presence of finish on the neck heel were the wood was usually left bare; Gibson apparently felt that extra protection against climatic changes might be needed by banjos traveling to a different part of the world.
The factory order number on this example is stamped inside the rim using the larger, sans-serif font that is seen on some Gibson banjos from around the time the top-tension models were introduced(see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers). The style 2 of the 1930s never sold in great numbers, and original five-string examples such as this are extremely rare.
Photos courtesy of Jack Dubow.