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This is a rare, completely original Gibson Les Paul Goldtop from 1957, with P-90 pickups. Because of the worn finish it is revealed that the guitar has a flame maple top under its original gold lacquer, which is adding to the instrument's unique stunning looks.
The year 1957 was a transitional year for the Les Paul model. Up until then, Les Pauls always featured P-90 pickups. From 1957 on, PAF humbuckers would become the standard for the Les Paul, until the model was discontinued in 1960. In 1957, probably only about 200 were made with P-90 pickups. Many of these guitars, if they survived up until the 21st century that is, were at some point in their lives equipped with mini-humbuckers (which are about the same size as a P-90) or their pickup cavities were enlarged to accommodate full-size humbuckers. That is why nowadays, you do not often find a fully original 1950s Les Paul with P-90s from its last production year.
This guitar has aged in a beautiful way. There are clear traces of use, but only of the kind you would expect on a guitar that was played extensively for decades, but at the same time was been treated with care.
The gold finish has cracked, with a denser grid of cracks at the top's edges. As is often the case with aged Goldtops, in the most heavily worn spots there is a green discoloration along the edges where the gold lacquer has come off. There is remarkably little wear on the back of the body. Some of the expected scratches and dents are visible, but hardly any buckle rash.
The original hard shell case is included with the sale. To be frank it has seen better days, however it has a lot of mojo to offer as well. Detailed pictures of the case are included for you to marvel at.
The Les Paul logo on the headstock is quite faded, but the serial number “7 2132” on the back can still be read very well. The rosewood fretboard has a striking dark color and has not worn too heavily. Also the frets have enough life left for years to come. As can be seen in the pictures, also the pots and electronics are original and work perfectly.
This alone would make this instrument is a fantastic buy for anyone looking for a unique and particularly inspiring vintage Les Paul. However, this guitar also has quite an interesting history. We'll describe what we know for sure and will add extra info if we find out more.
We are selling this guitar on behalf of the owner, a vintage guitar lover from the Netherlands. The guitar was bought in the USA in 1990, from the late Jimmy Brown at Guitar Emporium of Louisville, Kentucky. The story goes that it was previously owned by a famous Kentucky guitarist, who at the time preferred a PAF-equipped original Goldtop, and had therefore traded this one in. We are trying to contact this famous guitarist to confirm the story and ask him for permission to mention his name, in order to keep the guitar's history as complete as possible for the future buyer to know. Of course we will update this listing as soon as the story is confirmed. If we would have sold the instrument by that time, we would also be happy to send the info to the new owner later on.
In the early 90's the Dutch edition of Music Maker magazine published an article dedicated to this guitar, in which also the partly visible flame maple top was highlighted. We are trying to get a copy of that magazine, in order to be able to pass it on to the buyer of this guitar. Again, should the instrument be sold in the meantime, we will be happy to send the article to the buyer later on.
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