Gibson / Mastertone 5 - String / 1970 / Stringed Instrument
Factory Original Flathead Five-string Gibson Mastertone
This banjo was completed in 1970 inside Gibson´s Original Kalamazoo Factory Plant, off the record by long time factory employee Mr. Lynn Blaisdell using as many Original Prewar Gibson banjo parts as possible. The banjo was made for his good friend, Mr. Loyde Stephens.
It features an original 20 hole, gold plated, high-profile prewar flathead tonering featuring the Style 6 engraving pattern which was improperly aligned by the engraver being slightly out of position. It has also an original prewar gold plated one-piece flange engraved in the Style 18 pattern. The original prewar top tension stretcher band was also gold plated and the construction includes 24 original prewar tension brackets. The banjo also features an extremely rare “All American” gold plated, engraved clamshell tailpiece and a gold plated Style 6 engraved armrest with disconnected armrest mute mechanism. The top coordinator rod, its nut and washer are original prewar and gold plated as well. The resonator is an original prewar “Florentine” Model which is carved and painted to the standard catalog specs. 4 nickel plated L-Brackets are prewar as well as 1 of the 4 gold plated thumb screws.
The actual “Hearts and Flowers” pearl inlays in the peghead and fingerboard are also from the prewar period. This completes the utilized prewar parts. The original factory wood rim with stamped serial number 7-5712-86 dates it to 1957 and is stained to match the curly maple one-piece five-string neck with fiddle cut peghead. The fingerboard is ebony and the neck is finished in the period factory “cherry sunburst” color.
The banjo features the standard gold plated Kluson backwards tuners from the 60´s, the Keith/Scruggs D tuners were installed later, it also has 24 small brass nuts on tension brackets.
This instrument can not be considered as a parts banjo, it is definitely a Factory Original Flathead Gibson Mastertone.
The banjo comes in a well-preserved period Lifton case with “The Gibson” tag on it. We have the Letter of Authenticity and Letter of Provenance issued by Jim Mills as well as the information on history of the Blaisdell family worked out and signed by Joe Spann.
Price: USD 35.000 / Approx. €26.380
Vintage Beauty, Czech Republic
Vintage Beauty is a fun project which was put together by František Bašta and Martin Mikuláš from the Czech Republic in 2009. The momentum of this endeavor was driven by long felt love and admiration of vintage stringed musical instruments and their mystique. Being an active musician since 1987, Martin has played both banjo and guitar and was a member of different bluegrass and country bands in the Czech Republic through the years. František is primarily a businessman who doesn’t look toward this project only as an investor, but he also shares the passion for the aesthetic and tonal beauty of older and vintage instruments.
This project has no aspiration to become a new Gruhn Guitars or Elderly Instruments. By far we can never learn enough to close in on their knowledge and experience in the business, we don’t pursue it on full time basis and most importantly, we don’t live in a part of the world where banjos, mandolins, guitars or dobros are so frequent and move so quickly among musicians and collectors.
We don’t even know if we are building a small collection of older and vintage instruments or if we want to start it as a small business. What we know for sure is that we want to share the beauty of our instruments with other people who are interested – musicians, enthusiasts, customers or collectors. We are looking forward to communicate with you no matter if you want to discuss, buy, play or record with any of our instruments. Call us if you are looking for something you are not able to buy here, we can either get it for you or give you some advice where to ask. Also, if you are interested in any instrument presented on our web site and it doesn’t have a price tag, call us! Everything can be for sale if the conditions are right!
Martin & Franta