Gibson TB-3 Mastertone #9440-23

Style 3 was the least expensive model in Gibson’s Mastertone line.   It was introduced in 1925 and remained in production through 1937, when it underwent some slight changes and was renamed style 75.  This TB-3 has characteristics consistent with those found on style 3 in the late 1920s; the hardware is nickel-plated with a two-piece flange, the resonator and neck are dark-stained maple, and the neck has a fiddle-shaped peghead and the diamonds and squares inlay pattern in a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard.  There is single white binding on the neck and on both edges of the resonator.  The tone ring is a forty-hole archtop, and the tailpiece is a Grover Presto.

Very shortly after this banjo was made circa 1929, style 3 changed to the one-piece pot metal flange with mahogany neck and resonator, and a double-cut peghead with leaves and bows inlays.

Photos courtesy of Arnold Zobrist.