Gibson TB-1 #293-6, the “J.F. Patchor”

#293-6 is a style 1 tenor banjo dating to 1932 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) and for the most part conforms to standard catalog specifications for this non-Mastertone model with one-piece flange, modified fiddle-shaped peghead, dark-finished straight-grain maple, nickel plating, a one-piece flange, a brass hoop serving as a rudimentary tone ring, and a fleur-de-lis inlay pattern in a rosewood fingerboard.

In an example of Gibson’s legendary production idiosyncrasies, a small number of TB-1s have surfaced with factory-original tension hoops featuring the engraving pattern of the gold-plated, engraved Granada model; while lot #9877, dating to 1930, is the batch most commonly associated with this oddity, #293-6 is also such a banjo.  It remains in excellent original condition and features the non-factory personalization “J.F. Patchor” on its truss-rod cover. No information is known about this previous owner; #293-6 is housed in its original flannel-lined, “red-line” #511 case by Geib and Schaefer.