The Florentine was introduced in 1927 and was one of the most ornate banjos ever produced by Gibson.
The Florentine featured a pearloid peghead overlay inlaid with rhinestones in what was meant to be a bouquet of flowers but is commonly referred to by collectors as an “ice cream cone”; the fingerboard was also pearloid and was decorated with hand-painted scenes not of Florence, as one would expect, but Venice. The neck heel, peghead back, and resonator were elaborately carved and painted, and all hardware was gold-plated and heavily engraved.
Typical of most Florentine, #8682-1 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) features a two-piece flange and a forty-hole archtop tone ring. The tailpiece is a Grover two-hump clamshell. This banjo remains in pristine condition with virtually no playing wear to the fingerboard scenes.
Photos courtesy of Raiford Rustin.