Vintage Gretsch Guitars

STOLEN 1962 Gretsch White Penguin #42012

1

From my website, gretschwhitepenguin.com ................................................

"Hello. Thanks for looking.

My guitar, a 1962 Gretsch White Penguin, serial number 42012 was stolen from Guernsey's warehouse after it's unsuccessful auctioning in the Guernsey's "Forty Years of Rock & Roll" auction in NYC January 19-22, 1995. Guernsey's was an auction house located at 108 East 73rd Street, NYC, NY 10021. The auction took place at The Puck Building, Houston and Lafayette Streets, NYC. It was prominently pictured on page 44 of the auction catalog. It's auction description and picture was on page 150 along with all of it's original hang tags and warranty card. It was refinished but all of the parts were original except the pickguard. In EXCELLENT condition. It was item #G103A in the auction catalog. Click here to see my guitar’s auction listing in Guernsey’s "Forty Years of Rock & Roll".

I've been trying to recover this guitar ever since it was stolen from the auctioneer's warehouse immediately after the auction. My Penguin was later spotted on 48th Street in NYC by one of my friends in one of the music shops there. He told me that "a big biker looking dude was trying to sell it and it was still in the non-original black molded plastic case that I had it in and it still had all of it's tags."

I'd REALLY like to get my guitar back. Any help in arranging it's safe return would be greatly appreciated.

I’m told that even if you bought this guitar innocently or in good faith, it is still a stolen guitar and that if you make no attempt to return it after knowing it is stolen, you can be arrested and charged with receiving stolen property. Since this item was moved over state lines, it is a federal crime. If push did come to shove, I would wholeheartedly have this matter prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but all I want is my guitar returned to me without any further problems. The FBI is involved. I do have guitar show people looking for it and I also attend many guitar shows."

Check my website for pictures. If you see it or know its whereabouts, please contact me on +1 (312) 450-7711 in Chicago or e-mail info@gretschwhitepenguin.com MANY thanks in advance. Phil Triantos

2

This really sucks. I hope that you are able to recover it. While I think that it is highly unlikely that a "big biker looking dude" who just happened to steal a Gretsch guitar will be hanging out on the Gretsch Pages website, crazier things have happened. Yet, if the thief does read the GDP, the better approach to this -- I think -- is not to threaten prosecution or to tell him that the FBI is involved. Rather, why not just say, "I would like my guitar back and perhaps we can negotiate some resolution of this." Thinking that he might be able to get some money out of you (as he may be having a hard time selling that guitar), he may start talking with you, at which time the FBI can help you out.

3

It also occurs to me that early 1995 was just when the commericial internet was emerging... there were bulletin board things, but this was pre-ebay/pre reverb, pre-vintage dealer sites. So maybe it really didn't go that far out of the area, or at least not overseas (we hope) Although Japanese buyers were really on a roll at that time. I know nothing about the auction scene, but isn't the auction house responsible for this?

4

I know nothing about the auction scene, but isn't the auction house responsible for this? -- DCBirdman

In a word, yes. And they undoubtedly have insurance that provides coverage for exactly this type of thing. An auction house is a prime target for thieves and the house wouldn't remain in business very long if they weren't trustworthy enough to make something like this right.

5

Based on the two legitimate vintage Penguin examples recently offered for sale, each one priced in the six-figure range, I can see why you want it back even 23 years later. My guess is this is in some collectors vault. It's like stealing the Hope diamond... you can't really sell it. It's a unicorn guitar, and the minute it hits the market the Gretsch community will instantly hear about it.

6

My friend, Es Goodman, created and moderates the Facebook Musicians Registry, found here:

https://www.facebook.com/gr...

That site has done amazing things finding lost and stolen guitars. You must have Es's approval to join and to post. Please tell her that I told you of the Registry on these Gretsch Discussion Pages. She will approve your joining and will help if you have questions. Good luck. She's magnificent, your guitar.

7

It also occurs to me that early 1995 was just when the commericial internet was emerging... there were bulletin board things, but this was pre-ebay/pre reverb, pre-vintage dealer sites. So maybe it really didn't go that far out of the area, or at least not overseas (we hope) Although Japanese buyers were really on a roll at that time. I know nothing about the auction scene, but isn't the auction house responsible for this?

– DCBirdMan

I concur. It sounds like the owner of the said guitar was not reimbursed which, to me, is strikingly odd.

I would think Guernsey has/had blanket coverage for these types of scenarios, and likely has/had to be insured to conduct business in NYC.

If the guitar was paid for by the insurance company after the theft the owner of said instrument would now be the insurance company.

I would surmise the owner also had the guitar insured directly himself considering its value.

Additionally as Ed said this instrument is virtually impossible to sell on the open market as it is.

8

Sad story. Curious though, why didn't you contact the NYC Music store when it was spotted there?

Best of luck, to ya!

9

I don’t mean to accuse anyone, but there was one for sale a long time ago at solidbody guitar? Perhaps not the same one, just thought I’d mention it.

10

Interesting post, another example of why this website, “ Gretschpages.com “ continues to capture my attention. There is a lot more here than meets the eye I do hope that the Penguin is recovered.

11

New York has particularly peculiar and unsettled laws regarding good faith purchases of stolen goods.


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