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1926 Gibson TB-5 #8444-3, the "Biff Bledsoe"

Price: $3,500.00 USD

This ball-bearing TB-5 has had a rough but interesting life. Its full history (and extensive photographs) are available at the link below. This banjo was returned to Gibson in 1937 at which time its original wreath-inlay fingerboard was replaced with a new fingerboard featuring flying-eagle inlays. Period photographs make it almost certain that this is the same banjo played in the late 1930s by Loren "Biff" Bledsoe while performing with Grandpa Jones. Somehow this banjo made its way to east Texas, where it was bought in the mid-1960s by its previous owner. It's in need of some restoration and I have tried to accurately represent its current condition in the photos at the link below. Six original bracket hooks are remaining, with heavy wear to the gold plating; sixteen hooks are replacement nickel, and two are missing. Seventeen of the nuts are original, five are replacement nickel, and two are missing. Otherwise the banjo shows extensive finish wear, heavy fret wear, some loose binding inside the rim, multiple areas of missing binding/marquetry, and one replacement button on the original Planet tuners. Three of the resonator thumb screws are missing; the remaining one is original. One coordinator rod is also missing. On the bright side, the tension hoop, tone ring assembly, two-piece flange, armrest, and short Kershner tailpiece are all original and the rim appears to be good and solid. The case may not be original but is definitely of the period.


Interested? Contact Seller to arrange purchase


Shipping: $75 UPS insured to lower 48

Posted By: Greg Earnest
United States, Smyrna, GA,

Condition of Banjo: Used - Fair Condition

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Type: 4-String, Brand: Gibson

Ad Status: Active, #76263, viewed 864 times


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