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.
#9469-49 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) is from the first known lot of such redesigned style 2 banjos. Stickers were added to the banjo and case by a former owner. The banjo surfaced in Philadelphia and may have been owned by a participant in the annual Mummers Parade held there on New Year’s Day.
Photos courtesy of an anonymous collector.