Many unusual features have been observed in style 3 Mastertone banjos from lot #9903 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers), indicating that for some reason Gibson chose this lot as an opportunity to use up various leftover components (see TB-3 Mastertone #9903-28, TB-3 Mastertone #9903-41, and TB-3 Mastertone #9903-46, the “Chas. A. Clark”). The rim of #9903-16 was originally made up for a flathead tone ring and then altered at the factory to accept a raised-head ring through the addition of a maple cap; when this cap was recently removed for installation of a nickel-plated, twenty-hole Dannick flathead tone ring, stain was visible on the original top surface of the rim. The original tenor neck was replaced at some point with a bowtie-inlay TB-250 neck from the 1950s or 1960s; the banjo has now been converted to five-string with the addition of a neck by Frank Neat of Russell Springs, Kentucky:
Photos courtesy of an anonymous player.