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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Lifton Banjo cases - Do specific years correlate to interior colors?

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Alvin Conder - Posted - 03/26/2021:  06:06:42

Been noticing lately that old, or better termed, vintage Lifton banjo cases are being sold for a pretty penny by recognized dealers and also here on the hangout.

I have acquired a good number of these over the years just from Horse trading and switching out cases from sold instruments, putting vintage instruments into what I would call a more secure case,and ect..

Just from putting them in order with the age of the instruments that came in them, I can sort them by decade, but I’m curious if the interior colors were specific to certain years or instruments.

My observations are from the age of the instruments they came with. I still have the cases, but some of the instruments are gone many years...

Brown Exterior - Maroon felt interior - 1940’s. (Came with a 1939 RB00)
Black Exterior - Green Velvet Interior - early 1950s (Came with a RB150)
Black Exterior - Fuchsia (pink) interior - mid 1950’s -1960 or so. Both these came with RB-250s.
Black Exterior - Yellow interior. 1960s These also came with RB100 and a RB250.
Black Exterior - plush Brown velvet - late 1960s -70s ? Came with late model RB800.

If anyone can clarity that certain instruments came with certain color interiors or the specific years for the interior case colors, I’m sure a few folks here would appreciate that.

Also have a few Bizarre Gibson logo Cases from the 70s and 80’s. Way ugly. But they will be another post maybe.

If I’m being crazy and reading into things that are just random happenings, let me know and I can accept that also...

tlong - Posted - 03/26/2021:  06:34:48

I have a case from a Feb 1950 built with the green flanel lining that is a GEIB flawless. I have seen them up to about 1954 ish then the pinks then gold in the 60 s.I have seen a couple from 48 -49 with purple lining. Looked like probably GEIB also. Likley prewar leftovers. I think they were the no thumb stop necks.

The Old Timer - Posted - 03/26/2021:  06:52:49

I had a very early 1960s RB 250 that came in a Lifton with the PINK plush lining. Pre-1964 "thicker rim".

hbick2 - Posted - 03/26/2021:  07:21:38

There is a very good website that is devoted to vintage instrument cases:

Although it may not answer this particular question, it does have a lot of interesting information.

Edwards - Posted - 03/26/2021:  07:29:46

I’ve been a bit curious about instrument Case color for a while because I’ve seen different color cases/exteriors. Thanks Harry, I had no idea there was a website out there so informative.

Alvin Conder - Posted - 03/26/2021:  08:11:07

Harry - Thank you for that resource. Very interesting and informative.

As others chime in, maybe we can pin down interior colors to specific models. But as that website shows through examples, I’m pretty close. Didn’t know they manufactured as late as 1973.

waystation - Posted - 03/26/2021:  08:11:27

I bought a bowtie RB250 in the 1970s with a 100 resonator from Mandolin Brothers. It was listed as a 1964 and came in a black case with pink lining that I always thought was a Lifton, but the only identifying mark was a small brass plate with the Gibson logo. The banjo was a real hybrid - three resonator screws, one coordinator rod, flathead ring and 250 neck with Rotomatics and what I think were factory cam tuners. Traded the banjo in 1981, but I still have the case and I still know exactly where that banjo is.

Is there anything on the case that would allow me to distinguish between Lifton and Geib?

GStump - Posted - 03/26/2021:  09:32:48

I have also seen a few of the "Victoria's Luggage" cases that one sees on occasion with a bowtie era banjo. In my opinion, they are a bit more desirable and do seem to be a bit better case than the Lifton "built like a fortress."  The last one I remember was the standard black exterior with yellow interior, and was with a 63' (?) RB 100 banjo that I think had belonged to the fellow whom I sold it for, for many years, perhaps even since new.

Edited by - GStump on 03/26/2021 09:33:38

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 03/26/2021:  11:46:33

This case came with a ‘64 Folk Wonder and it still houses the neck from that original banjo. The pot,however is 40 yrs older. One of my favorite banjos with bracket band and White Laydie ring.

Steve Kirtley also has a Facebook group,vintage instrument cases.


Edited by - Ks_5-picker on 03/26/2021 11:59:03


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