Gibson TB-2 #8211-40, the “George Graziani”

This banjo dates to 1926, the year after 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 ring 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 Brazilian rosewood fingerboard is inlaid in the pattern used on Gibson’s Nick Lucas artist model guitar.  The tailpiece on this example is a later replacement.

The longtime owner of #8211-40 was George Graziani (1910-1985) who is believed to have bought the banjo used in a New York City pawn shop in the early 1930s.  Mr. Graziani is pictured above with the banjo not long after he acquired it.

Photos courtesy of Bill Broome.