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MOP bands on outer rim of 1923 TB 5 Gibson??

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Apr 24, 2019 - 6:06:28 AM
11951 posts since 10/30/2008

This nice 1923 TB-5 Gibson showed up on eBay this morning. Mighty purty. But I am really puzzled by the appearance of two wide bands around the outside of the pot, one where the tone ring skirt normally shows, and another nearer the bottom of the pot. Those who know these pre-Mastertones, are those wide bands of MOP????

Scroll WAY down in this link to some nice close up photos of outside of pot.  I've held old pre-Mastertone TB 5s in my own hands and never noticed anything like this.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/223492412562?ul_noapp=true

Edited by - The Old Timer on 04/24/2019 06:09:17

Apr 24, 2019 - 6:19:14 AM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14121 posts since 3/27/2004

From what I see in the side photo it looks like "faux wood graining" to me.  It was commonly done on furniture of that period, but I've never seen an instrument done that way other than some of the minstrel era banjo rims.

It could be actual wood grain, but it looks a bit odd for any flat grain figure I'm familiar with.

Apr 24, 2019 - 8:21:25 AM

rcc56

USA

2124 posts since 2/20/2016

Curious. My guess is that it is pearloid rather than mother of pearl on the sides of the rim. I don't see any seams in the "pearl". Gibson was experimenting with pearloid this early.

Apr 24, 2019 - 8:44:38 AM

BTuno

USA

874 posts since 3/3/2007

Lot 11984 was the earliest TB-5 lot listed in Spann. All trapdoor 5s had the MOTS band around the rim. The one here does have an unusual grain pattern though, and the fretboard inlays are different from later ones; the tailpiece is not original. I have one record of a litter-mate, -25, that had a 5-string neck on it (with a hand-stop), probably a later replacement, but the owner said a well known dealer had appraised it as original. So there were at least 25 TB-5 in that first lot. However, I do know of at least 2 TB-5s from 1922 that bear serial numbers, not FONs.

Apr 24, 2019 - 8:49:15 AM

11848 posts since 6/29/2005
Online Now

Very cool! I wonder how they did it.

Apr 24, 2019 - 10:04:17 AM
Players Union Member

heavy5

USA

863 posts since 11/3/2016

Maybe 40 - 50 yrs ago I converted a late 20's PB5 to an RB & had a difficult time procuring the greenish pearloid that made up part of the neck purfling which was also @ top & bottom edges of the resonator . Seems there was something else sandwiched in with it --- maybe a fine strip of black & white .

Apr 24, 2019 - 10:13:05 AM

5882 posts since 8/28/2013

I'd guess MOTs myself. This is a nice banjo, even with that ugly non-original tailpiece. I like the black edging on the pickguard.

I also belive this is a 1924 model, not a '23 as listed.

I wouldn't mind having it, but as usual, I don't have that much to spend, and being a purist when it comes to most of these things, I'd probably drop dead of old age searching for the correct tailpiece.

Apr 24, 2019 - 12:36:13 PM

11951 posts since 10/30/2008

MOTS, not MOP. I see. Thanks everyone.

Is "Pyralin" as used in some molded resonators on these trapdoors, the same thing as MOTS?

Apr 24, 2019 - 12:42:43 PM

rcc56

USA

2124 posts since 2/20/2016

I believe that most of the plastics used in those days were celluloid, including "pearloid," "ivoroid," and "pyralin." Bakelite would have been different, but it was not used much for instruments.

Apr 24, 2019 - 5:38:16 PM

5882 posts since 8/28/2013

Vinyl came out around this time (1923, if I recall), but it wasn't used much on musical instruments, either :-)

Many people think plastics are a recent invention, but some go back over 100 years.

Apr 24, 2019 - 8:37:34 PM

14715 posts since 2/7/2003

As mentioned its good old MOTS

Scott

Apr 25, 2019 - 6:50:42 AM
likes this

11848 posts since 6/29/2005
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by desert rose

As mentioned its good old MOTS

Scott


That explains how they did it— not as difficult as I thought.

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