Vintage Gretsch Guitars

59 Club with serial on head stock?

1

My late 1959 Country Club has the serial number stamped on the head stock. It's from batch 353xx, the earliest batch where Clubs got a shallow body (mine has it) and a zero fret (mine doesn't have it).

Isn't the end of '59 a bit early for having the serial stamped on the head stock? Or have you seen this on other examples from this period?

Thanks!

3

Yes that’s odd, do you have a paper label inside the guitar?

4

I've never seen that before. The headstock stamped serial numbers were a direct result of the sealed-top (electrotone) body introductions. Your Club has open f-holes and would be able to accommodate a paper label (with serial #)... so I don't know why this guitar is the way it is. I've documented 14 Country Club specimens from this #353xx batch, and have photos of 8 of them. I've not encountered a headstock stamped serial number in any of those. Your Club (having the shallower body) is the earliest example within this batch that I've found to have that feature.

GDPer "bigjohnbates" is in my notes as owning a Club from this group just a couple number away from yours. Perhaps you could reach out and see if his guitar is like yours?

Can we see the whole guitar?

8

If you need any detail shots, please let me know. And thanks for your help.

10

What a beautiful guitar that is!

Another example of the bridge FilterTron that's located close to the bridge.

11

Thanks Suprdave and Curt! It was love at first sight.

Have any of you ever seen a Gretsch this early with a head stock serial?

12

I think the head stock serial is a personal initiative at this point !

13

Could it be a factory reneck or refinish and the number was added at that time?

14

I think the head stock serial is a personal initiative at this point !

– Roar

I agree. Font and size look different from what I have seen so far.

P.S. This is the perfect shade of Caddy Green, btw. Fantastic guitar. Congrats!

15

You could be right, Roar. Stolen guitars often had their labels removed, so imprinting the serial in the head stock might not be such a strange thing to do.

On the other hand, might it not be a re-neck and/or refin? When they refinished a guitar at Gibson in the sixties, they would imprint the (originally painted) serial in the head stock. Maybe Gretsch did the same?

Not that it looks refinished or re-necked, but would you notice a factory job?

16

I agree with the personal initiative theory. I don't think there's any reason to think reneck or refin. I've never seen a stamp like this on a reneck, and can't think of any reason why they'd do it for a factory refin. And I agree with sascha's comment that the font and size are different from what Gretsch used. And it's on the wrong side.

For whatever reason, somebody felt that it was a good idea to have the serial number stamped. Very possibly for the reason you mentioned, fear of theft.

17

The early sealed top Gents had their #'s on the badges and IIRC the next sealed-top guitars were the 6113 pre-Tennys which started at the 41xxx in '61-ish. Were these the first to be stamped on the headstock?

18

The 6132 Corvette might have the 6113 beat by a nose. Assuming that there aren't earlier batches of either model not represented in the database, then the Corvette starts around 41400 while the 6113 starts around 41500. So, they both appear with serial numbers stamped on the edge of their headstocks nearly simultaneously.

19

The 6132 Corvette might have the 6113 beat by a nose. Assuming that there aren't earlier batches of either model not represented in the database, then the Corvette starts around 41400 while the 6113 starts around 41500. So, they both appear with serial numbers stamped on the edge of their headstocks nearly simultaneously.

– Afire

Here's what I have for "early" serial # stamped on tip of headstock:

Earliest Corvette solidbody - #412xx

Batch of Bikini models - #408xx

Earliest electrotone 6119 - #406xx (one owned by GDPer)

Earliest Twist solidbody - #396xx

20

That's a great looking guitar!

22

Oh yeah, that's the real stuff.

23

I also believe the stamping was a personal initiative as to me, it appears to be stamped following being painted/finished. When it's stamped prior to finishing, it has a nice crisp look to it whereas this one has a somewhat 'ratty' appearance to it.

24

I also believe the stamping was a personal initiative as to me, it appears to be stamped following being painted/finished. When it's stamped prior to finishing, it has a nice crisp look to it whereas this one has a somewhat 'ratty' appearance to it.

– Windsordave

Factory original stamped serial numbers are post-finish, and are fairly ratty looking.

25

Earliest electrotone 6119 - #406xx (one owned by GDPer)

There's a 6119 that predates the 6113?


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