Gibson TB-3 Mastertone #8279-49, the “K.E. Barrett”

#8279-49 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) dates to 1926, the second year of Gibson’s “Mastertone” line.  This example is a typical early style 3 in every respect with dark-stained maple neck and resonator, a two-piece flange, ball-bearing tone ring assembly, and diamonds and squares inlay with a fiddle-shaped peghead.  Original Gibson shipping ledgers record that this banjo was sent back to the factory for an unspecified repair and returned to owner K.E. Barrett on April 7, 1939.  The banjo is housed in its original plush-lined #509 case by Geib and Schaefer; a decal has been added to the back of the resonator.

Photos courtesy of an anonymous owner.