Gibson / TB 1 / 1930 / Stringed Instrument

Gibson TB 1 (1930) SOLD

Five-string conversion of TB1. Serial # 9519-47 slots the year of production in 1930 according to the latest research of Joe Spann. 9519 batch was one of the first big ones that carried one piece flange and classic construction on a Style 1. Along with models 2, 11 and 00 these banjos were less expensive versions of Gibson Mastertone banjos. Though sporting only a small diameter brass hoop instead of a tonering, other parts were of the same quality as more expensive models of that time, including the 5/8“ three-ply maple rim and pot metal one piece flange and tension hoop. In the early 30´s this banjo was priced at $37,50 and is highly sought after these days because of its five-string conversion potential.

This particular banjo was purchased in 1987 from Curtis McPeake and was brought to France. It was extensively played by local artist Philipe Bourgeois. In 2010 it was purchased by Vintage Beauty and found its way to the Czech Republic.

The instrument has standard maple rim which has been cut and fitted with Huber flathead tonering. Maple resonator was sanded and refinished in the past and because the finish was in a poor condition, it has been professionally refinished by Prucha Bluegrass Instruments. Serial number is by default painted in brown color inside the resonator and is also stamped on the rim. “Gibson Inc.” sticker is intact. Finish on the white binding remained original. One piece flange is in a very fine condition and shows only a very slight warping. All hardware is nickel plated and plating on the flange is in a great condition, tension hoop has spots where the plating peels and shows pitting. Hooks and nuts are original and in a fine condition. Tailpiece is a non punched prewar Presto. Style 1 had originally only one coordinator rod, this instrument had two new rods installed. Majority of Style 1 models had only 3 resonator nuts, only some were produced with four screws and on these the added screw is typically positioned symmetrically in relation to the other three, rather than being displaced one bracket to be out of the way of the armrest attachment hardware as was usually done on four-screw models. These banjos usually left the factory without an armrest. This seems to be the case and therefore the modern armrest was attached.

Beautiful new flamed maple neck was made by Prucha Bluegrass Instruments. It has a „fleur-de-lis“ or „bat“ or „flying birds“ inlay, beautiful dark rosewood fingerboard with dotted white binding has been distressed to match the original binding on the resonator. Peghead is fiddle cut with „inverted bud“ inlay. Grover „Pancake“ tuning pegs are in a great condition. Fifth string peg is the geared Schaller.

The instrument was perfectly set up by Mr. Prucha who re-fitted the rim and tonering, installed the new Remo Weatherking head and the 11/16“ bridge.

The banjo is generally in a very fine condition with a superb playability and a powerful „prewar“ sound quality.

Instrument sold

Vintage Beauty, Czech Republic  

Contact name:
Martin Mikuláš
Opening hours:
By appointment or e-mail us


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!


Best regards,


Martin & Franta

  Send message to: Vintage Beauty, Czech Republic
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