This Gibson TB was made in 1918 and it’s in excellent structural and cosmetic condition. This was the first year Gibson offered banjos and this particular configuration with the 12-inch head, hollow shell, 15-fret neck and squared-off snakehead peghead is scarce. Gibson realized almost immediately that the relatively mellow tone and short neck wouldn’t work for the new jazz bands, which required banjos with lots of projection and access to higher notes and they immediately redesigned this instrument to include a tone ring, a longer neck and an optional resonator. In fact, this version had such a short life it never even made it into a catalog. Even though this banjo isn’t really suitable for driving a jazz band, it has sweet, round tone that works well for Irish music or old-time string band music. It beautifully crafted and has the look of a banjo designed by mandolin makers, which it is. It still has its original frets, which show some wear but are playable. We should mention the frets are tiny by modern standards and some player may find this instrument a bit hard to play. Still, it’s a lovely instrument and a cool bit of history that you can play. Include the original hardshell case, which is in equally clean condition.