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For Sale or Trade: 1940 Prewar Gibson OPF 955 // Original 5 String!

A rare original pre war 5 string, fully playable!

Posted By: crowfielder | Rate Member
 Verified Seller

$1,500 USD

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Rock bottom price! Still includes case and shipping!

This rarely seen Gibson 955 banjo was made for Montgomery Wards in 1940. It sports a rare original 5 string neck with simple dot inlays. Also features a hollow brass tone hoop on beaded maple rim as found on RB-1s of the day.

From Joe Spann:

“According to the Gibson shipping ledgers FW 916-8 was a model 955 five-string banjo, sent to Montgomery Ward in Baltimore, Ohio on Thursday, March 28th 1940. Gibson made the model 955 for Montgomery Ward in 1939, 1940 and 1941, but strangely it only appears in the 1941-1942 Fall-Winter catalog. It was a very basic instrument, thin wood rim, one-piece die-cast flange, simple brass tension hoop, flat hooks, and many shipped with no peghead logo.”

Had to have some major work done to get it playable. Most notably the headstock was modified and damaged by the previous owner, so a “wing” chip was filled with walnut and an overlay added so it could accept modern planetary tuners and look half decent.

Some other cosmetic quirks and replacement parts: The flange is chipped, and the resonator & hardware are replacements. Side dots were added by the previous owner and some after-factory dot inlays on the neck were filled with rosewood. Tuners are all solid modern Planetary-types with matching buttons, but the tuners are not an exact matching set.

Nice set up, plays great up the neck! It’s a very well-spoken banjo that can talk as fast as an auctioneer!

Feel free to make offers!

Trades I’m open to include old violins & bows, flat top or bowlback mandolins, banjolins, parlor guitars, pots, necks, projects, etc. Only really interested in pre-1940 and always like things that need work but if you’ve got something dusty try me out! Only really open to partial trades up to $500 in value.

Happy pickin! (702)-526-2507


United States, Yakima, WA, 98901


Free! In beat up TLK hard case

Payment Methods:

Cash (in person), Paypal

Payment Option Notes:

Zelle also accepted

Return Policy:

Returns not accepted.

Condition of Item(s):

Used - Fair Condition




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Contact Info:

Please email (link at top of page) and we can talk details or schedule a call from there.

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This ad will automatically expire 5/28/2020 2:06:01 PM unless updated before that date. To keep the system current, ads expire if not updated for more than 60 days.

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