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For Sale: Rare 1954 Gibson RB-250 (w/ original 5 string neck & skin head)

Posted By: KD Banjer (+4) | Rate Member
 Member 10+ Years  Verified Seller

$6,900 USD

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Are you interested in owning and experiencing a Gibson Mastertone banjo almost exactly as it was almost 70 years ago in 1954?

Down to its original 5 string neck, this is a rare Gibson Mastertone banjo that has a great story.

The year this Gibson banjo was built- 1954- was the FIRST year that Gibson re-manufactured its Mastertone banjo after World War 2, after they stopped production for about 10 years because of a scarcity of raw materials.

There were only 62 of these five-string RB-250s made that year, and this is one of them. I would estimate that there are very very few of these that are around (or in their original condition).

This 67-year-old bowtie RB-250 has all original parts (including its archtop tone ring), except for the 5th string friction tuner and the bridge (I have an unmarked bridge that is in the original Gibson pink-lined case, that might be the original bridge).

It also has its original Rogers skin head, as well as the original frets on its original 5 string neck.

This is an archtop that doesn't sound like a typical archtop... After 67 years of aging and being played in essentially its original condition, it has a beautiful complex rich tone.

I really hesitate to sell this banjo, and am only doing this after long and careful thought. I am moving to a tropical and humid climate, and I am not sure if this almost 70 year banjo (and skin head) would survive in that climate. I have felt like a caretaker of this banjo, and I feel that it is my responsibility to pass this on to someone who will take care of it as carefully as I have so that it can retain its excellent original condition, and later, when the time comes, to be passed along to another generation of banjo pickers and collectors who care about its history.

Decades ago, there was a thin wood shim added between the pot and neck, but Banjo Luthier Richie Dotson carefully examined the banjo and said that it was no issue whatsover, and that if I wanted, the shim could be removed and the neck fit to the pot. But, I personally do not want to mess with a banjo that sounds so good.

I am willing to accept offers, but I am no hurry to sell this banjo.


United States, (near) Fredericksburg, VA, 22485


Prefer pick-up - can drive 1/2 way to meet buyer (but will consider shipping)

Payment Methods:

Cash (in person)

Payment Option Notes:

Wire Transfer (or cash) preferred

Return Policy:

Returns not accepted.

Condition of Item(s):

Used - Excellent Condition




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This ad will automatically expire 8/26/2021 8:31:28 AM unless updated before that date. To keep the system current, ads expire if not updated for more than 60 days.

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