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
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-3? TB-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