Vintage Gretsch Guitars

someone can help me?


I found in one basement this old guitar, someone can tell me the model? Have a copper plate with engraved:

presented by the fred gretsch mfgco makers of fine musical instruments since 1883 brooklyn ny.



Might be a wartime/post-war New Yorker. Better pics of the headstock and the tailpiece would help. One pic per post and add some text. Use the yellow camera button next to the emoji button.


here the particular of the copper plate


It’s an outsourced New Yorker... but that plaque on the tailpiece is crazy cool!!


top part


Welcome to all things Gretsch Manx! This guitar was the low end model so didn't come with best of appointments. Still an interesting guitar though. Are you thinking of fixing it up to play or to sell? If to sell, bear in mind the cost to have work required done, and what it might sell for. The neck joint is a good spot to begin looking at what it might require. You can get modern things like bridge & base and pickguard for not too much. I wouldn't recommend looking and having to pay for original pieces. A lot of those original pickguards disintegrated anyway.


Hi, I don't know to play guitars, I just found it in Italy, I'm in Rome, I want to sell the guitar but I don't know model name and price just to list on ebay.


This just gets cooler and cooler. Manx, could you post a pic of the bottom of the tailpiece? Sometimes these had "Gretsch" engraved/stamped on them. Also, could you peek inside the guitar and see if there is any other writing?


There should be a hand-penciled serial number inside the bass side sound-hole. Might look like scribble.


inside the hole is stamped the number 596


the back


low part


These were available during the war-years and assumed to be out-sourced production (Harmony?). Hard to nail down an exact vintage, but it's probably reasonable to say this guitar is from the '42/43 time-frame. They are introductory models, and not overly popular with Gretsch collectors today. This one has the added feature of the presentation plaque (which I've never seen before), which makes it more interesting.


This one has the added feature of the presentation plaque (which I've never seen before), which makes it more interesting.

The plaque intrigued me as well. My imagination was wildly speculative. The fact that this guitar is in Italy made me wonder if the company gave the guitar to someone in the fascist government sort of the reverse of Henry Ford getting a medal from Adolf Hitler in 1938. That improbable scenario would have made slightly more sense pre-war, but during the war--can't be!!

Who would Gretsch present a low end model to during the war with some element of ceremony? Were they even actually manufacturing then or was their factory retooled for wartime?


If we’re speculating... perhaps this guitar was sent to a retailer in Europe, as a “sample”. I have very little knowledge of the degree by which Grestch marketed instruments outside the US. Maybe there was a European NAMM equivalent?? (But probably not during the war).


My guess is it wasn't actually presented to anyone in particular, rather "Presented by the Fred Gretsch Mfg. Co." in the sense that a movie may be "Presented by Warner Bros. Pictures." Very cool, nonetheless.


Maybe some soldier brought it over there and it never made it back.


Maybe some soldier brought it over there and it never made it back.

– UncleGrumpy

That's actually a very real possibility.


Could the plaque be made from an artillery shell casing? A type of trench art?


The guitar was in one fascism residence house basement, the owner now is death and I removed some items for restoration. The granfhater worked for Mussolini fascist dictator. Tomorrow I will list on ebay the guitar for auchtion if someone is interested.


Lots of people here interested in history. How about pictures of some of the other things you found?


there I found this very old projector


And this camera


and this amplifier, sorry but is not my business and I'm not expert of audio and instruments

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