The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

1927 Gibson Florentine Tenor Banjo (consignment)

This is a rare piece, the apex of the banjo’s heyday – a 1927 Gibson Florentine tenor banjo. Subtle, restrained, understated, unadorned, ordinary – these are not the words used to describe the USA in the late 1920’s, or this vintage instrument. This is as decorated as it gets.

In the mid to late 1920’s, Jazz was king of the bandstand and the banjo was one of the key players – there was no amplification as we now know it and so instruments had to be acoustically loud to be heard at all.

The Gibson Florentine was advertised as ‘the world’s finest, most luxurious banjo’, and was available in plectrum and tenor models – the difference being the scale length, number of frets and tuning.

This specific example of the Gibson Florentine Tenor uses a tube and plate flange. The resonator sports a carved coat of arms, and the heel has matching carvings. All the carvings are hand-painted on a gold tint base; some versions of the Florentine used black.

The neck is maple, but the fingerboard and headstock are entirely covered with celluloid; the fingerboard position markers are engraved with scenes from Florence (possibly Venice!), and the headstock logos are rhinestones. All the original metal parts are gold plated; the plectrum holder is not plated, and the dunlop pick in it is likely not original.

The original hardshell, arch top and back case is included.


Serial Number: 0292-97, built during 1927 at the Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Pricing:$14,999.99 Canadian with original hardshell case.

Status:  AVAILABLE


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