What's new

December 28, 2008--I'm excited to add another original five-string flathead RB-75 to the site!

December 14, 2008--Here's a pair of pristine TB-1s from different eras: #9383-3 and #749-7.

December 12, 2008--The style 3 tube-and-plate era was nearly over when Gibson made this rare GB-3 Mastertone #9441-1.

December 10, 2008--I was fortunate to get to play this beautiful PB-7 about a year ago and it's a pleasure to have it on the site.

December 4, 2008--Meet the Gibson Inspectors.

December 1, 2008--Today's addition is a beautifully preserved TB-Granada formerly owned by a New York City performer known as "Banjo Pete".

November 28, 2008--Here's a nice example of the very earliest banjo model produced by Gibson: TB #349.

November 26, 2008--More beautiful old banjos to be thankful for:  an incredibly rare GB-Granada, another nice TB-2 from lot #9520, and another nifty TB-3 from the rather eccentric lot #9550.

November 10, 2008--Here's the kind of thing we all dream of finding--a no-hole flathead PB-3 from the same lot as J.D. Crowe's famous "Banger".

October 7, 2008--I've added an illustrated guide to locating the serial number of a prewar Gibson banjo.

October 3, 2008--Here's a nice example of that good old Gibson weirdness. . . a humble TB-00 with a beautiful clamshell tailpiece.  There's a little strangeness involved with #9556-26, too, but for the most part it's just a beautiful 1930s Granada tenor.

September 21, 2008--For some time, I've struggled with the correct order for listing banjos having factory order numbers with letter prefixes.  I previously listed these banjos in order by number and let the letter prefixes fall where they may.  I have now revised the listings so that these banjos are listed first by letter prefix, then by number.  Speaking of that. . . here's a nice late TB-11 with the factory order number DA-5007 on the back of the peghead.

September 15, 2008--I've fixed the link from the "Miscellany" page to the Lulu Belle and Scotty songbook showing Scotty Wiseman with his Granada.  Thanks to those who pointed it out.

August 25, 2008--The owner of this Florentine wrote me and said he thought he had a floor-sweep banjo. . . he was right!

August 18, 2008--All you top-tension fans are in for a treat!  I've posted scans of the pages introducing the top-tension models in  Gibson's Catalog Y of 1937.  I've also added more detailed information on the provenance RB-12 #651-3, neck #E2791-3, including a photo of the banjo with its original owner.  And to top it off, in support of the old saying that "Gibson made at least one of everything", is a top-tension Florentine!

July 30, 2008--It would be hard to find a nicer example of a late 1920s style 3 than #9024-96.

July 24, 2008--Who would have thought another original five-string RB-1 with Coke bottle peghead and Mastertone label would show up so soon?  I've also added an alphabetical list of original owners.

July 23, 2008--Sorry to be so long updating.  Here's a highly unusual original five-string RB-1, and a 1930s TB-3 that exhibits some of that classic Gibson weirdness.  More to come!

June 5, 2008--Two great additions today:  a beautifully preserved early Granada and a TB-00 with a poignant historical connection.

June 3, 2008--Bob Curell has sent in a great photo of his father, Charlie Curell, with RB-5 #8267-1, and from Chris McClelland comes
TB-0 #8014-40, with so many fancy nonstandard features that I'm not even sure it should be called a TB-0 at all.

May 28, 2008--It's not every day you come across a 1930s Granada from a previously undocumented lot!

May 20, 2008--The 9550 lot of TB-3s is an interesting one and it's getting to be very well represented on the site. . . the newest addition is #9550-13, the "John Lampart".

April 28, 2008--Randy Lucas of South Carolina has submitted photos of his two beautiful original five-string prewars. . . an RB-3 and an RB-1!

March 27, 2008--I've now added photos of TB-1 #3-21 in its new incarnation as a five-string flathead.

March 20, 2008--Too long since I updated!  Here a couple of beautiful gold-plated tube-and-plate banjos: TB-5 #8252-19, the "Harold Leatherman" and TB-Granada #9152-57, the "Selmer Lien", along with a really neat floor-sweep 75.

February 25, 2008--Today's additions bring us up to 150 banjos on the site!  TB-5 #8252-23 should be a ball-bearing according to its serial number, but it's not; TB-1 #3-48 joins its littermate #3-21 on the site; here's one TB-00 that for some reason left the factory with an unusually fancy tailpiece; and why did Gibson make TB-2 #824-10 with a Mastertone tone ring?  We'll probably never know.

February 18, 2008--For all you top-tension fans (like me), here's a beautiful TB-12.  And how about a rare
wreath-inlay TB-3TB-3 #9465-70 has documentation connecting it to the store where it was originally sold. . . and another littermate, TB-2 #9520-30, joins the site.

February 10, 2008--Too long since I updated!  Here's a very rare example of a 1930s TB-3 with flying eagle inlays.

January 20, 2008--Thanks to Charlie Cushman for the photographs of his beautiful original five-string RB-11. . . and be sure to take a look at TB-Granada #9356-42, from the last known batch of two-piece-flange Granadas.

January 8, 2008--I'm pleased to add many more photos of a beautiful top-tension Mastertone that's been on the site for quite a while:  PB-7 #912-1, the "G.I.H. Boshoff".  Today's other additions are a pair of Gibson's super-fancy jazz banjos of the late 1920s: TB-Florentine #8682-1 and TB-Bella Voce #0259-68, the "Joe Ribaud".

January 7, 2008--TB-1 #9190-41 is a rare variant of the model with "Coke bottle" headstock.  I've added new photos of TB-3 #9550-40 (an original flathead), and TB-Granada #1485-2 makes three Granadas from the last known lot that are now represented on the site.  TB-75 #312-3 is in an unbelievable state of preservation.  I'm a sucker for walnut banjos, so it's great to add  TB-4 #276-3, the "Mateo Quintana".

January 4, 2008--We start the new year with 133 prewar Gibson banjos on the site.  The newest additions are TB-1 #11786-7 and UB #11159A-13, a nice pair of trap-door models from UK collector Robert Rolinson; Rodney Carter's TB-Granada #9557-9 with a most interesting flathead tone ring; and Jason Bales's TB-2 #8054-19.