Gibson TB-2 #9469-18

The style 2 of the 1930s was the highest-priced non-Mastertone model, selling for $75 when the entry-level Mastertone, style 3, was $100.  Style 2 banjos are relatively scarce, perhaps because a player considering one could get a Mastertone for just $25 more.  The style 2 of the 1920s had been made of plain maple with a dark finish and featured “bracket shoe” construction and the same inlay pattern that was used on Nick Lucas artist model guitars.  Circa 1929, style 2 was completely revamped with one-piece flange construction, walnut neck and resonator, and a pearloid fingerboard and peghead overlay with stenciled silkscreen designs.  The tailpiece was upgraded from the Grover “first model” used on other non-Mastertone models to the Grover Presto as seen on style 3 Mastertones.

#9469-18 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers)  is from the first known lot of such redesigned style 2 banjos; it has been converted with a twenty-hole flathead tone ring by Bill Blaylock and a mahogany five-string neck with double-cut peghead and hearts and flowers inlay by Frank Neat.

Photos courtesy Reuben Valles.