Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Help ID this antigue archtop!

1

I recently found this archtop at a local thrift and immidiatly knew it may be something special.

What I've discovered to date is that it appears to be an orchestra 35. The serial points to a 1952 but the headstock logo matches models I've found from the 30's. I have no additional info on it's history and hoping you kind folks can help me get a positive ID so I know what treasure I may have.

Thank you for your time in advance.

Nathan

2

One post = one pic, unless your pix are hosted somewhere on the web. Just do multiple posts for multiple pix.

3

Even though I haven't seen anything aside from the tip of the headstock as I post, my gut is that it's more likely 30s. This is because I would assume that you are applying the tip of the headstock serial number to the numbering system used on the labels *inside * the guitars starting circa 1950.

I haven't seen tons of tip of the headstock serial numbers but yours is the first I've ever seen that doesn't look to be numbers that are pressed in. Your ones are a first for me. For this reason in particular I defer to the great KC EDDIE B.

PS - We do like pictures so please keep posting more of them.

7

What's on the edges, MOP or wood inlay?...or masking tape.

8

Note that there is no labeling visible on the inside or anywhere else.

10

That is a late 30’s model 30... it replaced the model 35 and they differentiated it by giving it a more traditional shaded sunburst and an extra wide layer of binding around the top. I’m not near my research at the moment but I’ll guess 1939/40 based on that serial... I’ll confirm later.

12

Looks clean as hell -nice find.

14

The tailpiece is from the '50's or later. Love the pearl on top.

15

The tailpiece is from the '50's or later. Love the pearl on top.

– lx

The bridge and base looks to me like it's from the same era. The lovely Art Deco bridge/base was on the early archtops and Gretsch switched to the plain [straight] base sometime following the war so I expect this guitar has had that changed out.

17

Maybe it's just me, but that tailpiece looks way too new to be original. Does anyone know when the Art Deco bridge/base came along?

Edit: I see the '39 catalogue shows the Art Deco bridge/base and chromatic tailpiece.

18

I agree. The tail puece looks brand no. Possibly a reproduction or NOS? How about the tuners? Original?

19

The tailpiece looks vintage/original to me. Very much like the one on the similar example I linked, and it also turns up in the catalogs and our database here (model 35).

20

I don't have an issue with the tuners; they look original. Jim, I agree the tailpiece is period correct, it's just that it looks too new to be original. The bridge/base I'm not sure of although it looks quite shiny/newish.

21

https://reverb.com/item/104...

– JimR56

That guitar from the Reverb link is not a '34 example, but is instead of a similar vintage (maybe a tad later) as the model 30 in this post. In the 1940ish time-frame the f-holes were changed to be slightly wider on one end compared to the other.

22

That is a late 30’s model 30... it replaced the model 35 and they differentiated it by giving it a more traditional shaded sunburst and an extra wide layer of binding around the top. I’m not near my research at the moment but I’ll guess 1939/40 based on that serial... I’ll confirm later.

– kc_eddie_b

Just checked my files... this serial # (6818) pegs this guitar as a 1940 mode year example. Cool!

23

Just checked my files... this serial # (6818) pegs this guitar as a 1940 mode year example. Cool!

– kc_eddie_b

Thank you for the valuable information.

24

Congrats! She's a beauty, for her age.

Hey Ed, What are these worth? Just curious.

25

I don't see anything suspect about the bridge or tailpiece. I forget who made this style of tailpiece. It was Kluson, Waverly or Grover (they all made similar trapezes). But they were definitely around pre-WWII. And the bridge looks like your standard rosewood archtop bridge. The base contouring looks normal for Gretsch.


Register Sign in to join the conversation