Gibson’s 1930 catalog described the TB-2, the highest-priced non-Mastertone tenor banjo offered by the company at the time, as “a real ‘pal’ for the banjo lover”, providing “a snappy, brilliant tone, powerful volume, reliable trueness and a world of ‘good looks’”. The style 2 of the 1930s was, like style 11, a lower-priced model which dressed itself up through the use of a pearloid fingerboard and peghead overlay with stenciled designs. Unlike style 11, however, style 2 limited its pearloid veneers to the neck; the resonator was walnut with single white binding on both edges. The hardware was nickel-plated.
#9547-40 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) dates to 1930 and remains in excellent original condition with the exception of a replaced tailpiece and a structurally compromised tension hoop, which is showing disintegration due to “zinc pest“, a common problem with the earliest pot metal components supplied to Gibson by the Doehler Die Casting Company.
#9547-40 conforms to standard specifications for the model at the time and remains in its original flannel-lined #511 case by Geib and Schaefer.
Photos courtesy of Joel Kadarauch.