Gibson TB-4 Mastertone #9271-4, 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.