Other Equipment

PAUL” by Gretsch ?

1

I recently picked up a late 30’s Orchestra model from a guy. He told me that he bought it a few years ago from an older gentleman in Harlem, who had been a Jazz player on Bourbon St in Louisiana for many many years. He also was told that the guy bought the Guitar from Fred Gretsch when it was new. (I will say that this Guitar has been played...a LOT) About a week after I bought it we were talking over the phone when he mentioned he also had something else that he had bought from the guy when he bought the guitar. The guy “Paul” said that he had bought this from Fred Gretsch himself in the late 30’s or early 40’s. I have not personally held this in my hand, I’ve only seen pictures. The current owner says it is made out of Bake Lite and rhinestones. I’ve not seen anything like this myself. Can anyone identify it ?

5

What is this? Something to hang on a wall as a display?

6

What is this? Something to hang on a wall as a display?

– Ric12string

I do not know what it is, a “Drum Badge”, a “Guitar Strap” badge ? I really have no idea, I was hoping someone with more knowledge would recognize it.

7

My uneducated guess is that it goes on a guitar strap.

8

Wonder if Joe C has ever seen anything like this, or knows what it is ??

9

I'll take 2!! its awesome whatever it is!!

10

Likely aftermarket. Nice workmanship,

11

Ed might be the best bet for identifying it. Look like a one-off homemade as the rhinestones aren't installed perfectly, not that it matters.

12

Holy smokes that is cool. I would guess some sort of strap thing too but -

Strap pads are kind of a post war thing, and hanging that on the little rope straps of the day would be dodgy at best

It's way too nice to subject to the wear and bending of being on a strap, especially if its made of bakelite.

Perhaps some kind of guitar badge, but I'm sure you've looked for mounting holes on the guitar. How long/wide is it? Incredible bit of art deco styling. Hope you figure out its purpose and report back.

Think I will save these pics and share with Deke Dickerson, if thats ok.

13

How is is that Deke doesn’t hang out here?!? I mean, he’s not a strictly Gretsch guy, but he’s our kind of guitar obsessive.

14

can you post photos of the guitar

15

(sorry, lighting is bad)...Here it is, original bridge is in the case, I need to come up with an appropriate set of Waverly strip tuners because the ones that were on it are beyond bad. Looks like this Guy fell on hard times, its been refretted and they are shot.....One thing for sure, somebody loved and played the heck outta this Guitar....Next stop after I get the tuner strip set is over to my Luthier to go over it more thoroughly, re fret it and set it up just right. Then it’s my turn to play it.

16

As I’m not sure about whether or not it came “with” the Guitar, that’s the story I got from this guy. It does look period correct, although as I mentioned, I’ve not held it. I pretty much agree with all the comments, I was just hoping someone had seen something similar. The Guitar is in really used condition but has strong bones so I’m going to bring it back to life. As far as the PAUL goes, I’m not at all sure what it was for. But I think it’s pretty cool.

17

I'll take 2!! its awesome whatever it is!!

– paul pigat

So Frustrating! Those so rarely show up with 'Bernie' or 'Bernard' on them. Life is so unfair!

18

As I’m not sure about whether or not it came “with” the Guitar, that’s the story I got from this guy. It does look period correct, although as I mentioned, I’ve not held it. I pretty much agree with all the comments, I was just hoping someone had seen something similar. The Guitar is in really used condition but has strong bones so I’m going to bring it back to life. As far as the PAUL goes, I’m not at all sure what it was for. But I think it’s pretty cool.

– 949Norm

Well, you know how I'd "bring it back to life" Norm. wink, wink

19

Do you know how big it is? It looks like it may have a slight bow or curve which might imply it was fixed behind the bridge across the guitar belly.

Doubt it would have fitted on a strap, a little impractical and obtrusive. Plus didn't most jazz guitarists sit down in those days?

It is beautiful. Bakelite and rhinestone were a popular combination in art deco jewelry and look great together

20

And yes, have a look for screw holes, could be the best clue. Maybe it sat behind the tailpiece?

21

And yes, have a look for screw holes, could be the best clue. Maybe it sat behind the tailpiece?

22

I will check Vince hadn’t even thought of that.

23

As far as the PAUL goes, I’m not at all sure what it was for

It may have been to personalize the guitar or its accoutrements...unless it was the inspector's certification.

24

The idea with this Guitar, is to find out just “how good” I can set it up to sound. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that in the 30’s, Gretsch was using “seasoned” “Cello Spruce” and hand carving the tops and body’s. My Luthier is a Custom jazz box builder. So, the aim is to get all the parts and have HIM set it up for me. Proteus, your idea about the “Paul” being an inspector or even maybe a Luthier/Carver’s badge is interesting. I mean, WHO was making the Pickguards there at the time? I can very well imagine that whoever was creating Bakelite Guards could very well do something like this. And the fact that the Paul isn’t perfect is even more interesting to me.....Tell me the truth, am I toooo far afield?? Something about these old Guitars really stirs me up

25

Those bakelite pickguards are a postwar thing - if it's contemporary to the guitar, it's quite a bit earlier. Any idea of the size of rhis thing? I'm guessing 4-6" just based on the screw head shown in the pic.


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