Gibson TB-2 #9546-24, the “Andrew Rampulla”

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.  As on the style 11 and Kel Kroydon banjos, Gibson added visual appeal to the style 2 through the use of a pearloid fingerboard and peghead overlay with stenciled designs.  The neck and resonator are walnut, the hardware is nickel-plated, the flange is one-piece, and the tailpiece is a Grover Presto rather than the Grover “first model” usually seen on lower-priced non-Mastertone models.

This example remains in original condition with its original hardshell case but exhibits the deformation commonly seen in the pot metal tension hoops and flanges of the period.  Although the likely manufacture date of #9546-24 was circa 1930, the banjo remained unsold at the Gibson factory for many years until it was finally shipped on January 4, 1949, making it one of the very last prewar Gibson banjos to leave the factory.   The longtime owner of #9546-24 was Andrew Rampulla (1901–1981).

Photos courtesy of Jerry Gobbi, Sr.