Gibson TB-4 Mastertone #9271-5, the “Russell Leonard Calm”

In 1929 the second model up in Gibson’s Mastertone line, style 4, changed specifications from mahogany with nickel plating and a tube-and-plate flange to walnut with chrome plating and a one-piece flange; #9271-4 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) is from one of the last lots of tube-and-plate style 4 banjos.  Its original owner was Russell Leonard Calm (18 July 1910–4 March 2000), a native of Negaunee, Michigan.  While the majority of 1920s style 4 banjos featured the hearts and flowers inlay pattern; #9271-4 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) is one of a small number of late 1920s TB-4s made with hearts and flowers peghead inlays but the more elaborate fingerboard inlay pattern seen on the gold-plated, engraved Bella Voce model.

Photos courtesy of the family of Russell Leonard Calm.