Gibson TB-Granada Mastertone #9557-2

Prewar Granadas with one-piece flanges are getting harder and harder to find, especially in such fine original condition as this example.  The wood is curly maple with a sunburst finish on the back of the resonator, the tension hoop and armrest are gold plated and engraved, the flange is one-piece, the tone ring is a forty-hole archtop, the peghead is double cut, and the fingerboard is Brazilian rosewood with flying eagle inlays.  There is black and white multi-ply binding on the neck and on both edges of the resonator.  The tailpiece is the “clamshell” type found on many higher-end Gibson banjos of this period.  It is particularly rare to find a Granada with its original one-piece flange intact; higher-model gold-plated Gibson banjos normally featured two-piece flanges even after the lower models had changed to the one-piece flange, and the gold plating process seems to have somehow compromised the pot metal of the one-piece flange so that even on Granadas that are otherwise in excellent condition the flange is often severely flared up or broken altogether.  The closeup photo of the back of the peghead shows a detail of prewar high-end Gibson banjo construction rarely duplicated by contemporary neck-makers; the peghead rear is veneered with curly maple so the joints of the peghead “ears” are not visible.

Photos courtesy of Joe Spann.