Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Vintage cases

1

I know this topic comes up now and again, and I'm aware originally you would get whatever case you were willing to buy when getting a new Gretsch, but has anyone established definitive dates that the vintage cases were manufactured? I'm also aware that dealer stock means you may have gotten a case years after they stopped being manufactured, but obviously it'd be rare to get, say a new '55 with a case that didn't't come out until '60.

The reason I ask is that I have both a 1955 and 1960 Jet Firebird, neither of which came with a Gretsch case. I recently purchased a 50's snowflake for the '55, but after stumbling across this thread Link it seems maybe the snowflake goes better with the '60.

So now I'm wondering what my options are for a second "right" case, ie, if the snowflake was already out by '55 then I can add that to the tweed and cowboy from that time, if the silver thread interlocking rectangles 60's style was out in the late '50s then either that or the snowflake would go with the '60, etc.

Thanks

2

Based on the '55 catalog, we can conclude that snowflake had replaced tweed by '55 at the latest. Then somewhere between then and '59, it was replaced by cases covered in "rich black shot with silver threads." That would be this type of case:

I would say that these cases came out right around '59, maybe just a little earlier.

So, I would say that the snowflake is indeed the correct case for your '55, while your '60 should have the black with silver threads case.

3

Yeah, silver thread cases start around '59; IIRC silver thread with badges start around '62/3.

4

Thanks to both of you for your replies. Like I said I originally thought the snowflake was right for a '55 but that other thread I linked was a little ambiguous about how early they started and stated it would be right for a '60.

I looked at both the '55 and '60 catalogs we have posted on the site and they used the same illustration for the case on both, which to me looks a lot more like the silver/black speckled "streamliner" case I associate with 60's Tennys or Annies then either the snow or silver thread, but the illustration and descriptions aren't the best. I don't believe that "streamliner" case was available that early (definitely not in '55) so yes, the '55 catalog must depict the snowflake. And the '53 catalog doesn't show any cases.

5

In '53 they were definitely still tweed. By '55 they were gray, and while the catalog description doesn't quite accurately describe what we now call snowflake cases, that's what the deluxe ones were (and there were a couple versions). Then the silver thread cases in '59.

6

My 1962 & 1964 Country Clubs both came with that last case(silver threads). My 1960 Gent came with the Cowboy Case, but I bought a mint & I mean Mint silver thread case so the Cowboy Case doesn’t get messed up..

7

I have a 1960 Anniversary (Hi Lo Tron) that came with the standard 60s silver case. I would have to check if it fell off but it never had the badge near the handle. Perhaps this is a sign of the earliest version of that sort of case.

Of course prior to the 1980s that guitar could have been paired to that particular case at any time, although the reasonable presumption is that the case is original to the guitar.

8

I have a 1960 Anniversary (Hi Lo Tron) that came with the standard 60s silver case. I would have to check if it fell off but it never had the badge near the handle. Perhaps this is a sign of the earliest version of that sort of case.

Of course prior to the 1980s that guitar could have been paired to that particular case at any time, although the reasonable presumption is that the case is original to the guitar.

– knavel

When you say silver do you mean the silver threads like the pic in afire’s post or silver like in this pic?

9

When you say silver do you mean the silver threads like the pic in afire’s post or silver like in this pic?

– 66gent

What this is is a "Streamlined" or "Streamliner" case which started to show up around '57/8. It's the budget version with felt on the inside. The Silver Thread case is the plush lined deluxe version. Of course this being Gretsch, there was an exemption to the rule. In 1959 a few of the new (slim) Clipper cases came with the Silver Thread on the outside and the regular felt lining on the inside. The '59 catalog lists and describes both the Silver Thread and Streamliner cases.

10

What this is is a "Streamlined" or "Streamliner" case which started to show up around '57/8. It's the budget version with felt on the inside. The Silver Thread case is the plush lined deluxe version. Of course this being Gretsch, there was an exemption to the rule. In 1959 a few of the new (slim) Clipper cases came with the Silver Thread on the outside and the regular felt lining on the inside. The '59 catalog lists and describes both the Silver Thread and Streamliner cases.

– lx

Yes that’s my case for a ‘66 Tenny, the one I mentioned earlier that I’ve always associated with the Tennies and Annie’s from the ‘60s. The reason I was asking Knavel if that was the one he was referring to is because I wasn’t aware they were out that early. I always thought they came out around 63/64, but hadn’t based that on anything other than seeing mid 60s guitars with them on Reverb.


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