Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1944 or 45 Gretsch New Yorker


Looking to find out more about a Gretsch New Yorker my grandfather left me. Original sales receipt shows it was purchased on May 12th 1945 inside guitar is stamped the number 327 it seems like most guitars this old have a number written in pencil not a stamp. I do not know very much about guitars but trying to find out if this is a real Gretsch or how much it may be valued at?


A picture is worth a thousand words.


It would be considered a real Gretsch, but depending on which iteration it is, it's debatable if it was manufactured by Gretsch. There were two different New Yorker guitar versions made by sub-contractors during the war-years, and then the post-war variation, which was made at the Gretsch Brooklyn factory.

A photo of your guitar's headstock will confirm which you have. It would be very useful (to me!) if it's a post-war model, because you have a very early serial number, as well as a date-stamped data-point on "when" it was created. I've found that original bills of sale can sometime be deceiving because guitars can hang on the wall of a retail music store for months or even years, but at least it creates a chronological fence-post on the latest a guitar was produced. In other words, this New Yorker could not have been made after April of 1945.

Here a photo of post war New Yorker #320... does your guitar look like this??


...or does it look like this?

Looking at Ed’s book, I see that these with the stenciled headstock were outsourced to Harmony or the like during the war.

serial number 1187. Here is the thread about it.


Photos won't upload for some reason but the words New Yorker run vertically down the head stock as in the first photo but no squiggly line. New Yorker letters are larger. But the Gretsch portion is the same as first photo. Body looks the same. Stamp is somewhat blue in color inside.


Only one photo allowed per post... please just try the headstock image. It will definitively ID which era New Yorker you have.


Be happy to email anyone photos ..they must be too many pixels for this site. My email is contact me if interested. I am happy to see if my Gretsch is post war, thank you!

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