Vintage Gretsch Guitars

59 Club with serial on head stock?


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

There's a 6119 that predates the 6113?

– Afire

I was hoping nobody would catch that Afire... but since you have....

The history of the electrotone Tenny remains frustratingly unclear. The last batch of the F-hole, red finish, single filtertron was #406xx. I have documented specimens displaying those 1st generation features at #40669, 40672, 40678, and 40679. BUT... then there's #40680 which has all the 1962 electrotone Tenny features. I've only documented one other at the end of that batch #40697, and it too has those '62 features, so plausibly the last 20 guitars in that #406xx batch are of that new design. Then, at batch #415xx we see the introduction of the 6113, and it's electrotone feature set. Another group of these (non-Chet) Tenny's occur at #419xx, and then a smaller group at #421xx. The last of these occur in the early portion of #426xx. The next oddity happens later in that batch when a few Tenny's with '63 style (faux binding) f-holes emerge, fretboard binding, and standby switch. When the next batch surfaced at #442xx, the '62 Tenny features (unbound f-holes) are in place, along with pot codes from Feb of 1962.

I've been hoping to find additional 6113/6119 specimens to help fill in the data, and hopefully verify the info I already have, but progress is slow as all I can do is wait for more Tenny's to surface. I'm feeling the pressure to work all this out before releasing a 1960s book.


Thank you all for your thoughts on the Club head stock serial and the kind words about how truly awesome it looks.

It seems likely that some previous owner stamped the number in the head stock, as the font is different from what Gretsch used and it's on the wrong side anyway.

Ed, as always, thanks for enlightening us with some fun Gretsch trivia!


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

– Afire

The only guitar I have with the S/N stamped on it is the '41 Synchro and it's as sharp as can be so it appears to be a pre-finish operation.....which seems the reasonable way to do it IMO. Why make it look ratty?


The introduction of labels (and serial numbers) was one of the last things to be done to a Gretsch as it progressed through the final Quality check process, and went on it's way out the door to retail customers. This was the case in the post-war Golden Era (per Dan Duffy). Likewise, in the Baldwin Era that was clearly the case with the gold colored date-coded serial numbering found on the reverse of headstocks. I don't have any info about when the numbers were introduced in the Pre-war Era.

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