Gibson TB-Granada Mastertone #9152-20, the “Banjo Pete”

By the late 1920s the Granada had evolved from its original ball-bearing tone ring, through a brief period of no-hole archtop rings, to the classic forty-hole archtop tone ring.  For the most part the model’s other specifications remained the same, including dark-strained curly maple with two concentric rings of wood purfling on the back of the resonator, a fiddle-shaped peghead, hearts and flowers inlays, a two-piece flange, gold plating, and engraving on the armrest and tension hoop.  The grooved tension hoop and flat hooks of the ball-bearing period had by now been replaced by a notched hoop with round hooks, and the tailpiece was a Grover clamshell (in this case engraved “Granada“) rather than the earlier Kerschner.

The banjo’s current owner fills us in on its history: 

The banjo was well used in its time and shows it. It was bought new and played professionally by a guy who went by the name of Banjo Pete. He played a ragtime style in vaudeville shows in New York City in the 20s and 30s. His daughter has had this banjo under her bed since he died in the late 60s. It has what is probably the original skin head (as far as she knew) and you can see by the discoloration and pick marks that he was a lefty and strung and played the banjo upside down.

Photos courtesy of Donnie Harvey.