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Oct 26, 2021 - 2:29:20 PM
130 posts since 1/11/2020

An aquaintance offered to sell their pre war Gibson rim to me. It has no hardware to come with it simply the rim with its label.
Their offer is $500 and im intrigued but truthfully I know little about Gibson banjos.

Would building up a banjo with modern parts and a replacement neck hurt the value? Or hurt the rim in some other way I may be unaware of? If i were to end up selling said banjo would their be difficultly because of the mix of parts? I hear about gibson copy necks and specs all the time being done for folks who primarily do bluegrass playing but it's just not an area i know much about with banjos.

Thanks for any input/help


Also if anyone reading this is interested the seller is motivated to sell quickly to help finance a new neck for a broken banjo that happened this past weekend. I'd be happy to assist you in buying it so i don't have to hem and haw about it.


 

Oct 26, 2021 - 2:51:24 PM

2784 posts since 4/16/2003

Although it's probably genuine, I don't recall ever seeing a Gibson banjo rim label like that one before.

It's obviously not a Mastertone label (doesn't say "Mastertone").
It doesn't look like the smaller "non-Mastertone" Gibson labels that were used in many banjos.

Could you tell us what model and what year Gibson banjo this came out of?

Oct 26, 2021 - 3:14:09 PM

130 posts since 1/11/2020

quote:
Originally posted by J.Albert

Although it's probably genuine, I don't recall ever seeing a Gibson banjo rim label like that one before.

It's obviously not a Mastertone label (doesn't say "Mastertone").
It doesn't look like the smaller "non-Mastertone" Gibson labels that were used in many banjos.

Could you tell us what model and what year Gibson banjo this came out of?


From seller;

"All I know is it is from the 1920’s. I got it from a contest last year."






Oct 26, 2021 - 3:38:49 PM
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12704 posts since 1/15/2005

You should be able to buy the entire banjo with that rim for the same price. The desirable GIBSON rims are from after 1924. This rim is from the teens up to about 1925.

Oct 26, 2021 - 3:50:58 PM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

1143 posts since 8/9/2019

500 bones for a non-Mastertone, pre-ball bearing era pot is highway robbery.
Get yourself Tony Pass, Yates or Sullivan rim (among others).

Oct 26, 2021 - 3:53:47 PM
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2784 posts since 4/16/2003

Agree with the others.
You don't want this rim.

This looks to be pre-1925 (the year that the ball-bearing Mastertone was introduced).

I'm wondering if this was one of the "hollow" rims -- narrow bands on the inner and outer edges with blocks of wood between ?

Oct 26, 2021 - 4:00:25 PM

130 posts since 1/11/2020

Thanks everyone!

Good info to know. It said Gibson so my interest was piqued.
What kind of value could I fairly offer him?

I'm not particularly looking for a Gibson style banjo I'm just known around these parts for banjo so people come to me.

If i can get him down on price it sounds like i could have some fun building a banjo out of it without worry of offending anyone (ha ha)

Oct 26, 2021 - 4:03:27 PM
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104 posts since 5/8/2021

Slap some modern hardware on it and a neck built by god knows who, and you have yourself an "all original pre-war Gibson."

Oct 26, 2021 - 4:45:37 PM

130 posts since 1/11/2020

quote:
Originally posted by struggle_bus

Slap some modern hardware on it and a neck built by god knows who, and you have yourself an "all original pre-war Gibson."


I do hear about that being a thing in the Gibson banjo world. That's unfortunate people try to trick others like that considering a nicely done copy or parts banjo can fetch good money. Oh well

Oct 26, 2021 - 4:54:48 PM
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2784 posts since 4/16/2003

OP wrote:
"What kind of value could I fairly offer him?"

You really don't want to offer him anything at all. I don't think it has much "value".
The rim isn't good for anything.
It has a dowel stick and probably couldn't be converted to work with a Mastertone-style bluegrass banjo without major reconstruction, if at all.

Politely decline and let this "pass by"...

Oct 26, 2021 - 5:31:45 PM
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roydsjr

USA

751 posts since 5/17/2007

I would measure across the rim to see what you get. I would think it to be a 10 1/2" rim. If it is, these are not desirable to have really.

Oct 26, 2021 - 7:01:02 PM

12427 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Oldtimefeeling
quote:
Originally posted by struggle_bus

Slap some modern hardware on it and a neck built by god knows who, and you have yourself an "all original pre-war Gibson."


I do hear about that being a thing in the Gibson banjo world. That's unfortunate people try to trick others like that considering a nicely done copy or parts banjo can fetch good money. Oh well


Calling such a banjo an "all-original pre-war Gibson" would of course be completely dishonest.

But calling it a "pre-war Gibson conversion" would be 100% in line with widely accepted practice. A practice some of us may see as less than completely honest, but none of can stop from happening.

Oct 26, 2021 - 8:03:34 PM

rcc56

USA

3846 posts since 2/20/2016

Yes, it does appear to be a genuine Gibson rim, but it is from their earliest period, circa 1918 to 1923 or so. The label is correct for the period. It does not have the hollow "Kraske" rim. There are signs that it might have had a brass rod on top of the rim to act as a primitive tone ring.

These banjos were very different in design from those produced during the Mastertone period starting in 1925.

A complete tenor banjo in good condition from this early period can be bought for $500 to perhaps as much as $1000 [or less] for a really clean early TB-4. Without any metal parts, the rim is not very useful. Most of the early rims were 10 1/2". There were also some early 14" banjos built, but they are rare. Both are different from the 11" rim that would become Gibson's standard size throughout most of their history. The tube style "flange" that accommodates the hooks and nuts would probably have to be made from scratch, and a 10 1/2" tension hoop might be hard to find. The rim might be of some interest to a Charlie Poole fan who might want to put together a replica of Charlie's early Gibson.

Edited by - rcc56 on 10/26/2021 20:09:36

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