Gibson TB-2 #9878-17

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.

#9598-29 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) dates to 1931 and remains in excellent original condition with the exception of the resonator finish, which a previous owner appears to have sanded or partially stripped.  The pot-metal flange and tension hoop are both in particularly good shape, which is often not the case with Gibson banjos from this period.  This banjo was reportedly bought in a pawn shop in Denver, Colorado for $125.