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Dec 4, 2020 - 11:45:05 AM
1991 posts since 1/4/2009

Pardon me if this has been discussed before https://www.elderly.com/collections/used-vintage/products/gibson-tb-75-conversion-c-1939

But there are a lot of questions here.. first off.. It is claiming to be a prewar flathead ring, but does anyone know why? How is this known to be a real prewar ring?

Secondly,  why $50??? that seems right for a real prewar flathead pot with a converted neck, but for an archtop pot? Would claiming to have a prewar ring really push it up $45,000 in value? 

I'm always very suspicious when theres a claim of an orphaned prewar flathead ring.. is that really a thing that happens? If so has anyone here really seen a true orphaned flathead ring with provenance that proved it so?

Is there some expert with the secret answer to 100% id a prewar flathead? As I see a few of these claims pop up every year Im thinking there must be a bunch of these and I should find the expert to id some of my unknown rings I have. Maybe they are an orphaned prewar too ;-)

Edited by - kyleb on 12/04/2020 11:47:46

Dec 4, 2020 - 12:11:55 PM
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13596 posts since 10/30/2008

The age old question about pre-war tone rings!

Let's say you are convinced and you buy it. How do you convince a buyer someday when you want to sell it?!?!?

Demand documentation documentation documentation and provenance to the nth degree if you're going to spend that kind of money!

I've seen a handful of other pre-war Gibsons advertised on line with orphaned flat head rings. Apparently "some" existed.

There are experts who can tell. But damn few whose opinion is widely accepted.

I am casting no aspersions on this particular banjo or its seller. I know nothing about this particular banjo and seller. I wish him/her the best with the sale.

Dec 4, 2020 - 12:20:30 PM

1991 posts since 1/4/2009

Great points! I have an antique painting, ive had it looked at by experts and museums and everyone agrees that it is from the 1600s, the art historians have traced it back and some are certain that its by Guido Reni. But... there is zero provenance. I got it at an estate sale. There is historical record of a Reni that is missing that fits this description, but without provenance, I'd be lucky to sell for a few thousand dollars. With provenance ive been told its worth millions. I hold on to it hoping that somehow that proof will land in my lap, knowing it will never happen. So I choose to enjoy the art. Thats how I feel about these "orphaned" tone rings, all the experts in the world can look at them, but can anyone really prove they are what they are claiming, when the number of fakes and reproductions greatly outweigh the number of real items and theres not definitive markings or way to determine their legitimacy?

Dec 4, 2020 - 12:22:23 PM

KCJones

USA

1072 posts since 8/30/2012

It says it was converted by Steve Huber. Perhaps you could ask him. Last time I had a question about my Huber banjo I just called the number on the website and he talked with me right over the phone. I think most people would agree that he's an expert on pre-war flatheads.

Dec 4, 2020 - 12:33:09 PM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5374 posts since 10/12/2009

Huber-made neck or not......that's one of the worst script "Gibson"'s on the headstock that I've ever seen ! Compare it to one on the original tenor neck, a few photos later.

Dec 4, 2020 - 12:54:46 PM

2633 posts since 4/16/2003

RioStat  --

I'll bet the klunky "Gibson" script on that peghead was purposely cut to be that way, to resemble the Gibson inlay on the tenor neck that was taken off.

During the late 30's, some of them just "looked that way"...

Dec 4, 2020 - 1:11:47 PM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5374 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by J.Albert

RioStat  --

I'll bet the klunky "Gibson" script on that peghead was purposely cut to be that way, to resemble the Gibson inlay on the tenor neck that was taken off.

During the late 30's, some of them just "looked that way"...


Yeah, I've seen it done that way before, however, there's a photo of the headstock of the original tenor neck in the Elderly ad....the "Gibson" on it looks fairly typical and "good"...... better than the conversion neck "Gibson" inlay.

Dec 4, 2020 - 1:53:23 PM

1396 posts since 2/3/2005

If a person goes to Greg Earnet's site and look at the later date 75 peghead overlays........ they are typically Gibson from that period..... all over the map.

Compare the headstock of the Rev. Glen O'dell banjo to the peghead overlay of EG 4061, '

The builder of the neck on the Elderly banjo chose to follow the "Nick Lucas" look not the one from the original tenor neck.

Just my thought.....

David

Dec 4, 2020 - 2:00:07 PM

22 posts since 10/8/2020

About a month ago I was looking at Jim Mills’ website (prewargibsonbanjos.com) and had a question. I called the number and he answered, and was glad to talk directly with me, and a great guy just like Steve Huber.

I asked Mr. Mills about orphaned prewar tone rings and he said they do exist, are usually pulled out of top tension banjos, and are worth around $30,000 in today’s market.

Like Steve, Jim Mills is a recognized expert. His book on prewar Mastertones is very interesting too.

Dec 4, 2020 - 2:15:43 PM

13596 posts since 10/30/2008

That fat script Gibson (I agree, ugly) matches up with the RB 12 style top tension inlays in the fingerboard. Top tensions used that fat script. Why anyone would want such a peghead and inlay on a Style 75 is beyond me. In Jim Mills' book, the "last" RB 75 had the fat Gibson script in a double-cut peghead, but typical late 30s/early 40s style 75 fingerboard inlays. So, who knows?

Edited by - The Old Timer on 12/04/2020 14:16:49

Dec 4, 2020 - 3:07:28 PM

1991 posts since 1/4/2009

I would love an expert to weigh in, Jim mills and Steve Huber I think are both in this site. How do you know? Is there a scientific process or a gut feeling ? I get that some have provenance , a line of succession from the pot it was pulled from. But finding one in the wild seems easily faked.

Dec 4, 2020 - 4:49:21 PM
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1396 posts since 2/3/2005

Kyle....... how are things down in BC. I grew up a mile outside of Nashville on old SR 46.

I am fortunate to have been around old Gibson banjos for years. The challenge of "original" flathead rings is challenging to even the most knowledgeable. As the value of these have grown through the years, it has led to many to speculate on whether a ring in their banjo might be.... the holy grail.

In my opinion, only a few folks are truly qualified to render an opinion of originality.

In no particular order.... Jim Mills, Charlie Cushman, Curtis Mc Peake, Frank Neat and Steve Huber come to my mind first.

They all have extensive experience of inspection, tonal qualities and the "little things" that come from years of handling numerous banjos and rings. Of the people I mentioned above, many times they will consult with each other "behind the scenes" to render an opinion of authenticity.

What makes Huber my personal "go to" guy is...... his background as a machinist and attention to detail from different rings that were machined by human hands. How a valley was cut, holes drilled, chatter marks in the valley and interior face, etc. all have special "touches" much like a painter.

If a person decides to "invest" in a banjo with an orphaned ring, as others have said, get more than one opinion, and get it in writing.

Through the years, I have owned two banjos with "orphaned" rings. I enjoyed both of them and when it was time to sell, I never lost a dollar of my investment.

David

Dec 4, 2020 - 6:26:42 PM

plars

USA

209 posts since 11/26/2007

I actually like the funky, clunky, big Gibson script on that headstock. I have seen several other later model prewar 75s with that script. I think it’s cool...

Dec 4, 2020 - 9:02:56 PM

11180 posts since 1/15/2005

Without provenance the problems start when you try and see a banjo. I agree with Dave regarding who the experts are, but when they write appraisals they always write "in my opinion". That is what all of the expert appraisers for all kinds of things write. Their opinion carries a lot of weight, but when you are selling something, it is the buyer that has to be convinced ..... not the seller. I have been offered "original" flathead rings in the 20K range in the last few years, but have turned them down. According to Jim Mill's estimate of what orphan rings are going for, that does make a 45 - 50K price tag seem a little high. I would suspect that there might be some bargaining room.

Dec 5, 2020 - 9:06 AM

1991 posts since 1/4/2009

hey Dave! Brown county is fine, we just had a new baby so quarantined so haven't picked with anyone in a year. Check out what I found a couple years back in Phoenix az record store, pretty sure this is from your brown county days!
quote:Originally posted by davepicks5Kyle....... how are things down in BC. I grew up a mile outside of Nashville on old SR 46.

I am fortunate to have been around old Gibson banjos for years. The challenge of "original" flathead rings is challenging to even the most knowledgeable. As the value of these have grown through the years, it has led to many to speculate on whether a ring in their banjo might be.... the holy grail.

In my opinion, only a few folks are truly qualified to render an opinion of originality.

In no particular order.... Jim Mills, Charlie Cushman, Curtis Mc Peake, Frank Neat and Steve Huber come to my mind first.

They all have extensive experience of inspection, tonal qualities and the "little things" that come from years of handling numerous banjos and rings. Of the people I mentioned above, many times they will consult with each other "behind the scenes" to render an opinion of authenticity.

What makes Huber my personal "go to" guy is...... his background as a machinist and attention to detail from different rings that were machined by human hands. How a valley was cut, holes drilled, chatter marks in the valley and interior face, etc. all have special "touches" much like a painter.

If a person decides to "invest" in a banjo with an orphaned ring, as others have said, get more than one opinion, and get it in writing.

Through the years, I have owned two banjos with "orphaned" rings. I enjoyed both of them and when it was time to sell, I never lost a dollar of my investment.

David




Dec 5, 2020 - 9:25:42 AM

1396 posts since 2/3/2005

Kyle

Congratulations on the new addition.

Yes, I was about 13 years old and my brother was 14 when that record was cut out on Bean Blossom ridge at Don Sheets recording studio.

My father Marvin, Bernard Lee, Charlie Percifield , Jim Bessire have all passed.

Dec 5, 2020 - 11:25:53 AM
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895 posts since 2/17/2005

Just to chime in as an unqualified fan...I personally love the clunky late 30s/40s floorsweepy Gibson pearl. I remember reading somewhere they came from surplus lap steel inlays? Anyway, I've no dog in the race but this neck is pretty much my dream aethetically. I love the late 30s leaves and bow board with the doublecut headstock and this peghead (though personally I'd go with an RB-7 chevron-y thing in lieu of the fleur-de-lis) To each their own!

Dec 7, 2020 - 1:37:09 PM

673 posts since 2/14/2007

The late 30s 75s had a very primitive Gibson logo. This is pretty close.
 
quote:
Originally posted by RioStat

Huber-made neck or not......that's one of the worst script "Gibson"'s on the headstock that I've ever seen ! Compare it to one on the original tenor neck, a few photos later.


Dec 7, 2020 - 1:44:33 PM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5374 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Barretone
The late 30s 75s had a very primitive Gibson logo. This is pretty close.
 
quote:
Originally posted by RioStat

Huber-made neck or not......that's one of the worst script "Gibson"'s on the headstock that I've ever seen ! Compare it to one on the original tenor neck, a few photos later.


Yes....I realize that now....and after checking out Greg Earnest' website.  

Actually, after loooking at the "real" ones on Earnest'......I've kinda grown to like the look of the "fat" script "Gibson".

I especially like how they were inlayed fairly horizontally across the headstock, not angled like the more familiar looking "Gibson" 


Dec 7, 2020 - 1:46:58 PM

banjodr

USA

3033 posts since 6/6/2003

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