• 1930s Gibson RB-1 Fingerboard

1930s Gibson RB-1 Fingerboard

1930s Gibson RB-1 Fingerboard

This is a most unusual item, never seen anything quite like it, and I’ve had it for over fifty years too, in its present state. It’s an original inlaid fingerboard for a 1930s Gibson RB-1 five-string banjo, never used. The inlay spaces are cut through, with filler behind the mother-of-pearl. The top portion of the 3rd fret inlay is missing, been that way since I got it; the fret slots are machine cut but very shallow, no idea why. It came to me in the early-mid 1960s from the widow of an old Italian inlay cutter in Brooklyn, who had been making, among other things, inlays for several banjo and guitar companies since the 1920s, possibly earlier. Along with it was a TB-4 “Flying Eagle” sheet metal stencil, now long gone, apparently intended for positioning inlays on a fingerboard. There were also literally hundreds of fingerboard inlays, most of them quite familiar from various Orpheum and other New York-made banjos, and a few unused, fancy inlaid peghead veneers from other instruments. After fifty-plus years, most of this stuff is gone, but I could never get myself to give up this fingerboard until now.  $700 as is



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