Hi all, I bought an old Gibson mandolin-banjo the other day.I think it's the MB-JR model, seeing as the hoop diameter is only 9", but it has no model designation anywhere on it.The reason that I think 8023-15 may be an FON rather than a serial number, is the hyphenation; the number after the hyphen was, I believe, the number of the individual instrument (15) in the numbered batch of 40 instruments (8023).
to an MB-Jr that Elderly was selling (and thanx to Elderly for leaving pics of sold instruments accessible! Not quite like yours; this has a totally plain, non-snakehead headstock, but it does have a nine-inch shell. With regard to the "serial number," not clear whether you have a serial number or a factory order number, both of which were affixed to Gibson instruments.
I suppose the difference in condition makes up for the difference in vintage. At first, FON's consisted of a 3 to 5-digit number, which identified the batch under progress, plus a 1 or 2-digit suffix to rank each instrument in the lot." "Up to about 1924, FON's were applied to all Gibson models.." So, you could probably just refer to your MB as a circa 1924, & not be to far off the mark ! I saw your photos and read the replys to your question.
Cheers, Nate Jeff Well, my 3-point F-2 predates it by 15 years or so, and I won't even mention the late-19th-century bowl-backs I play occasionally...
The peghead shape and color is an interesting story by itself.
Earl had let Jim Faulkner from Indianapolis put a new neck on his banjo.