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 including a one-piece flange along with a dark-finished maple neck and resonator, with white binding on the neck and both edges of the resonator. Even though the Mastertone models had by this time gone to the double-cut peghead shape, a slightly modified version of the 1920s fiddle-shaped peghead was retained on style 1; 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”.
#252-19 dates to 1932 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) and conforms to standard specifications for style 1 banjos of the period. This banjo remains in original condition with the exception of an old repair to the tension hoop, some separation of the resonator sidewalls, missing neck binding from the thirteenth to the nineteenth frets on this first-string side, and a notch cut out of the inner wall of the resonator, most likely to accommodate an electric pickup at some time in the past. The original Grover “window” or “first model” tailpiece has been replaced by a chrome-plated Ibanez clamshell type whose cover has broken off.