Gibson TB-3 Mastertone #9489-16

Style 3, the least expensive model in Gibson’s prewar Mastertone line, was revamped in 1929.  The model’s straight-grained maple changed to mahogany, two concentric rings of white/black/white purfling were added to the back of the resonator, the brass tube-and-plate flange was replaced by a one-piece cast metal flange, and the headstock shape and inlay patterns also changed.  #9489-16 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) is from one of the first lots of style 3 instruments made in this “new” configuration; it remains in excellent original condition with its flannel-lined #511 case by Geib and Schaefer.

Photos courtesy of an anonymous owner.