Gibson TB-4 Mastertone #9553-32

#9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 peghead    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 Mastertone block

#9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 front    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 back    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 pot    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 pot    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 heel and resonator    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 peghead back

#9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 hardware    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 tailpiece    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 inside pot    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 inside resonator    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 Mastertone decal    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 factory order number in rim    #9553-32 Gibson Mastertone banjo TB-4 small factory order number in resonator

Gibson's 1930 catalog described the TB-4 as "the materialization of the dreams of the most distinguished artist", yet "not too costly."  The model's specifications included what the catalog described as "beautiful, compelling Burl Walnut" and chrome (or "Chromium") plating, "the best wearing plate known to science."  #9553-32 dates to 1930; the neck and resonator have been refinished and the flange is a nickel-plated non-Gibson replacement.  While the catalog illustration showed the style 4 with "flying eagle" inlays, a small number were produced with the "hearts and flowers" pattern.  Lots 9553 and 9554 (see Gibson banjo serial numbers vs. factory order numbers) are two of the larger lots of style 4 banjos from this period; lot 9553 banjos feature the "hearts and flowers" pattern while those from lot 9554 have "flying eagle" inlays.

Photos courtesy of an anonymous owner.
 


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