1936 Gibson PB-3 Original Flathead
The H. Ernest Jones PB-3. FON 9580-2
Original PB-3 prewar flathead! Shipped on May 23rd, 1936 to H. Polliak & Co. Ltd., Johannesburg. One-piece flange, 3.1 lb heavy weight high-profile 20 hole shiny face flathead tone ring. Uncut label, nickel plated hardware. Mahogany plectrum neck with leaves and bows inlay, Grover pancakes and “MADE IN THE USA” stamp on the back of the peg-head. Mahogany resonator with white/black/white concentric rings and standard single white binding. All parts appear to be original to the banjo. No re-plating or re-finishing.
As the years went by, the hardware on the one piece flange Gibson banjos increased in quality. The nickel plated parts on this banjo are no doubt from 1936 (evident by the later shiny face tone ring) and are in incredible condition. The 9580-2 stamped rim obviously laid around the factory for about 6 years before being assembled and shipped with available parts.
The resonator looks to be from 1936 also and sports the ” Made in USA” label on the inside. The factory order number 9580-2 is chalked in the center of the resonator, but “9582-2”, obviously a mistake, is chalked in small numbers in the standard position to the right of the neck notch. The person recording the FON’s in the shipping ledger looked through the flange holes and recorded the “9582-2” in the ledger.
It is also interesting to note that the factory order number “807-3” can be seen (in rubbed out chalk) under the 9580-2 and the smaller 9582-2. 807-3 is an RB-3 that shipped in December of 1936. H. Ernest Jones, most likely the original owner, fixed his address label in the rim and the resonator.
The original redline case has the late black alligator skin, fuchsia interior and sports the “Gieb” medallion on the case lid. This is a perfect example of a late Gibson PB-3 original flathead banjo. $75,000.