Gibson TB-2 #9729-36
Gibson's 1930 catalog described the TB-2, the highest-priced non-Mastertone tenor banjo offered by the company at the time, as "a real 'pal' for the banjo lover", providing "a snappy, brilliant tone, powerful volume, reliable trueness and a world of 'good looks'". The style 2 of the 1930s was, like style 11, a lower-priced model which dressed itself up through the use of a pearloid fingerboard and peghead overlay with stenciled designs. Unlike style 11, however, style 2 limited its pearloid veneers to the neck; the resonator was walnut with single white binding on both edges.
#9729-36 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) dates to 1930 and is unusual in that it features chrome plating rather than the typical nickel plating. The tailpiece is another departure from standard style 2 specifications; while style 2 banjos of the 1930s were normally equipped with either a Grover "first model" or Grover Presto, this example features an engraved Grover DeLuxe "clamshell" as seen, in a gold-plated version, on some of the later style 5 Mastertones of the 1920s. #9729-36 has had something of a rough life, with cracks to the resonator flange, an attempted refinish to the neck and resonator, and a modification to the resonator, likely to accommodate an electric pickup. The banjo is still equipped with a torn vintage Rogers calfskin head and is housed in its original #511 case by Geib.
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