Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Vintage cases

1

As some here will know I have a beautiful flame top 6120 made in 1960.Yesterday I rather rashly pulled the trigger on a snowflake case from 1957 to house it in.

I gather that in the day there were options as to the case you could have with the guitar, the cowboy being the most popular and expensive and there was the tweed case, which this guitar was rumored to have come in originally but has since been lost.

So have I wasted my money or would the snowflake case have been a viable option for a 1960 Gretsch 6120 guitar ?

2

My 1960 6120 came with a snow flake case so it sounds right to me.

3

Snow flake sounds right to me.... I'm thinking the tweed stuff (cases and amp tolex) started to show up around 1961-62(???).

4

In my experience the snowflake cases replaced the gold tweed cases around '57ish… and they don't seem to appear much after '59. But retailers could have old inventory that they sold for years later. So I don't think it's a definitive thing.

5

If we're talking about the tan tweed (similar to '50s Fender amps), that would have been long gone by '60. I don't know exactly when they stopped making them, but the 1955 catalog lists only gray or cowboy deluxe hardshell cases, no tweed.
I would think a '60 6120 could have been originally sold with a snowflake case. I believe the later gray crosshatch pattern came out sometime in '59, but the "original" case for these guitars was whatever the dealer put it in, so as long as it's not too far off, I think it's a plausible match.

6

Here's the one that's right for that guitar! And there are a few more not pictured!

7

Here's the one that's right for that guitar! And there are a few more not pictured!

– JazzBoxJunky

Great photo, JazzBoxJunky!

To clarify my prior post/recollection above -- the case at left is what I consider as "snowflake", (followed by "cowboy"). The 3rd from left/ 2nd from right is what I remember as "tweed".

8

Dan... "tweed" is typically considered as this...

9

As some here will know I have a beautiful flame top 6120 made in 1960.Yesterday I rather rashly pulled the trigger on a snowflake case from 1957 to house it in.

I gather that in the day there were options as to the case you could have with the guitar, the cowboy being the most popular and expensive and there was the tweed case, which this guitar was rumored to have come in originally but has since been lost.

So have I wasted my money or would the snowflake case have been a viable option for a 1960 Gretsch 6120 guitar ?

– Stubert

No, I don't believe your money has been wasted.

As Afire has already said a 1960 6120 and a snowflake case are perfect companions.

Yours

Drew

11

I think that's what they called the "Streamliner" case, the budget hardshell, if not the same as the fourth case in your picture, then I would think it's a variation on the same "level" of case.

In the '59 catalog they list the "Deluxe" described as having a "textured fabric covering of rich black , shot with silver threads." I think that's the third case in your picture. The '55 catalog refers to the "Supreme" case as being covered in a "richly textured charcoal gray, silver flake material." I'd say that's what we all call snow flake, the far left in your picture.

Then both catalogs also list the cheaper "Streamliner" ("Streamlined" in '55) and then the most expensive, the Chet Atkins case.

Just regurgitating catalog info that we can all access, but thought I might save somebody the trouble of scrolling through them.

12

Agreed, and while the majority supplier appears to be Ess&Ess case co. Lifton appears to be an at least an additional supplier, although to much lesser extent.

13

Dan... "tweed" is typically considered as this...

– kc_eddie_b

Ah-Hah! Once again, I have learned from you Ed. Thanks!

In my youth (late 1950's) I actually never saw a Gretsch case like the tweed. Early Gretsch guitars I knew of back then came in the snow flake cases. After that, the cases were similar but with the cross hatch design.

14

Snowflake cases are actually my top pick — congrats!

15

My '55 has its original tweed case. I'm sure it's not the only one out there, so any 'later' guitars with 'earlier' cases would be entirely consistent with real world dealer practice.

An 'earlier' guitar in a 'later' case however ... could raise questions of provenance, unless there's a sales docket with a later date to match the case for example.

16

My 1957 6121 came with the tan tweed case. My '62 Country Club came with a snowflake. Both seemed to be the original case.

17

Both my ‘62 & early ‘64 Country Clubs came with the gray-black/ silver threads case. I know that Gretsch also used the grey w/ purple Duvateen lined cases. Both my CC cases have purple velveteen lined cases. Seems as thought the wood construction is the same for both, it’s just the covering & lining that’s different.

18

My 1957 6121 came with the tan tweed case. My '62 Country Club came with a snowflake. Both seemed to be the original case.

– Falcon64

As mentioned up the thread, since Gretsches didn't automatically come with a case, the original case is whatever the customer bought. Tweed had only been out of production for a couple of years in 1957, so it wouldn't surprise me terribly if that's what was originally sold with your guitar.

My old '56 6120 is pictured below in a snowflake case that I bought next to it original (verified by the receipt) non-Gretsch chipboard case.

19

As mentioned up the thread, since Gretsches didn't automatically come with a case, the original case is whatever the customer bought. Tweed had only been out of production for a couple of years in 1957, so it wouldn't surprise me terribly if that's what was originally sold with your guitar.

My old '56 6120 is pictured below in a snowflake case that I bought next to it original (verified by the receipt) non-Gretsch chipboard case.

– Afire

The '57 6121 was much less popular than the 6120, so there were probably some old cases available as well as Jet cases. It would have been hard to find a tweed very much later. I notice your 6120 has '57 humpback markers. I always thought they were unique to 57 models.

20

No, '56 was a transitional year. By some reckonings, it started with full western features, then plain block inlays, horseshoe headstock, and G brand, then humpblocks and G brand towards the end. Humpblocks had been around since the 1930s. They first showed up on 6120s part way through 1956.


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