Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Chet Atkins Country Gent - brass name plate

1

I looked at a mid 60s Gretsch today, had double mutes and a supertron, but the name plate on the headstock said Country Gentleman then No ( presumably short for number) and then the serial number.... Normally they say the Chet Atkins country gentleman with the serial number on the plate or on the back of the headstock . Has anyone seen this before? It all looked legitimate

2

Serial numbers were on the headstock plaque until mid-66, when they were relocated to the back of the headstock. This also marks the change from sequential numbering to a date coded numbering system.

3

I just re-read your post, and maybe I mis-understood. So the plaque in this case actually has "No." present before the serial number? I am aware of some dodgey Gretsch headstock plaques made by a well known repro parts source (who will remain nameless). They pop up on Falcons and the like, and the serial numbers are bogus. If you provide the serial number itself, we can tell you if it's from a documented batch of Gents. Here's a 1966 model year example of what the plaque should look like...

4

Ed - have you seen examples without "The Chet Atkins" on the plate? And if so, have you narrowed down batch/time frame?

5

Here's an example of a fugazzi one.

6

Tommy... I can't say off the top of my head that I recall seeing a Country Gent headstock plaque without the "The Chet Atkins" notation. But maybe I'm just spacing out. Have you seen such a thing?

Here's the post-'66 plaque, once the serial number was relocated to the reverse side of the headstock.

7

I haven't seen one myself. I just asked because that's what the OP mentioned.

8

Oh yeah... I was too focused on the "No." comment. This extra day off has me a little unfocused, or maybe it was all the stout I drank last night???

Anyway... it sounds like the OP's experience is with a highly questionable headstock plaque. The guitar might be right as rain, but as always... the buyer must beware.

9

Yes - it was like the white falcon one shown above except it had No in front of the serial number. I didn't take the serial number down. the shop said it was a1967 model, but the spec was clearly a 64 - 66 and there was no number on the back, so probably 64-65. It felt fine though. I took the back pad off and the gretsch logo was on the plastic cover. It doesn't seem to be a copy or anything.

What's the story with the dodgy nameplates mentioned above? Was it a supplier to Gretsch at the time or is there something odd with this guitar?

10

The Falcon plaque above is an example of an after-market addition. In that guitar's case it's a Falcon converted from some other guitar. The serial number does not correspond to a known batch of Falcons, but instead to a batch of Anniversary guitars. The guitar was previously sold by someone in the industry with a reputation for selling less-than-honest guitars.

12

Ok John... I just blew my iced-tea out of my nose! Hilarious!

13

Fart twigs.

– Afire

Like

14

Thanks for the help. It could just be a replacement where one has gone missing or been taken off for some reason as the guitar didn't look like a conversion, but if I bought it and decided on selling it later it may be a problem.

15

I wouldn't worry about a conversion with a Country Gent. Converted from what... and why, there's like a million mid-60s Gents out there. The concern would be a stolen guitar that is trying to conceal it's original serial number. I am not saying that this is the case with this guitar, it's just a plausible explanation for a replaced headstock plaque on a mid-60s Gent.

16

Fart twigs.

– Afire

Ha ha ha ha.

17

Fart twigs.

– Afire

I think we need a Fart Twigs section on the GDP. To store all the Twigs fakes.... Or anyway, this should be our official name for the person that shall not be named....

18

The stolen guitar sounds plausible - or maybe a second/ reject stock. I'll get the serial number today. Thanks

Not sure what the fart twigs refers to!

19

Art Wiggs - seller of porky pies

20

The serial number is 68986 -would that be a country gent number?

21

Well… the plot thickens. The #68950-68999 is a group of '65 Tenny's. I actually have documented #68986 from an Ebay auction as a Tennessean. I don't have any photos of it or the serial number however. I think the combination of a squirley serial number AND an non-conventional headstock plaque would be enough to raise some concern.

22

Looks iffy, shame as its a lovely guitar . thanks for the advice!

23

To be devil's advocate... We don't really know why that plaque was replaced. Covering up a theft is one plausible explanation, but it's not the only explanation. Maybe a previous owner wasn't a Chet fan, or thought the plaque just looked cheesy and removed it. Then a subsequent owner wanted it replaced and just took a stab at a serial number from the right era. If you like the guitar, and the price is right, maybe let the seller know of your concerns and see if the previous owner can shed some light on why it was replaced. Or try to leverage the issue into a better price. I'm not endorsing knowingly buying a stolen guitar, but we really don't know what the story is here. And somebody's got to own it. If I did my due diligence, I think I'd be okay with owning something like this. As others have already said, there really isn't any reason to worry that it's not what it seems. You can't convert any other model of Gretsch into a Gent, not there would be any point anyway. One other thought - I know that on the earliest Gents the serial number was actually scribed onto the headstock under the plaque. And those were held on with screws instead of brads, so it's easy to check. If anybody can verify that this continued into the '60s, then there's at least a possibility that the original serial number could be determined.

24

I'll agree with your comments Afire(s), as we don't really know what the deal is with this Gent. However, whomever owns it will always have the burden of explaining this issue whenever they try to sell it. I would pass on inheriting that headache. Too many decent condition mid-60s Gents out there choose another (without a "story").

As far as the s/n# under the plaque. I've never heard of that. My (earliest) Gent lacks a plaque altogether, and comes with a paper Gretsch label under the pick guard.

25

Ed, I thought I mentioned that to you and all the early Gent owners(in a previous thread) My 57 Gent has the number scribed into the lacquer under the brass plate. (Sorry for the quick de-rail)


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