An extremely rare early Gibson top-of-the-line five-string banjo, and one of the finest examples. From what's known as the "trap-door" style in which the flat resonator is hinged so that it can be played closed or open, thus making the banjo the first vari-tone Gibson. These models also happen to be exceedingly attractive, with the most beautiful peghead with fleur-de-lis inlay; the hardware is silver plated and the tone ring is a many-holed tube similar to that used on the ball-bearing Mastertones.
About a million years ago , in the early '70's I played one of these (with a replaced neck) at the Philly Folk Festival; it was the prize for the banjo contest won by Billy Faeir or Billy Vanover. The tone of that banjo seemed to me to be heavenly, and I've wanted to hear that sound again all these years. Finally, it's here, and as beautiful sounding as I remember!