#8142-71 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) dates to 1925, the year Gibson introduced its Mastertone line of higher-end banjos. The highest non-Mastertone in the line was the style 2, seen here. It features a “ribbon”, “wavy”, or “serpentine” flange and a simple tubular tone hoop measuring ten and a half inches in diameter as opposed to the Mastertone’s eleven inches; the wood is maple finished in a dark brown. The peghead features a mother-of-pearl “The Gibson” logo and the standard style 2 peghead inlay for the period, while the fingerboard is inlaid with a somewhat more ornate pattern than the Nick Lucas fingerboard inlays more commonly seen on these style 2 banjos.
This TB-2 remains in excellent condition with the exception of some delamination of the veneers on the maple rim; the Rogers calfskin head is decorated with period artwork. The tailpiece has been replaced and the banjo remains in its original #511 case by Geib and Schaefer.
Photos courtesy of the J. Loyd Davis Collection.