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Thread: 1959 355 FON

  1. #1

    1959 355 FON

    I just picked up this 1959 355 factory mono w/ bigsby, and was wondering if you guys could help me with FON/serial number questions...

    How do I read these??

    S 7625 9
    A31109


  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Nice guitar. Very rare with the Mono option. That kicks up the value a whole lot. I don't know if I can help you with deciphering the numbers. BTW...is that the guitar that was featured on Norman's guitar of the day video with Mark A?
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

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  3. #3

    Re: 1959 355 FON

    yes, it’s a killer 355!

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Really great purchase !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

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  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member GuitarMikey's Avatar
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    Really great purchase !
    Sweet guitar! A good place to start...

    http://www.es-335.com/2018/08/20/rare-and-then-some/
    GuitarMikey

  6. #6

    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Thanks!! Looks like this one is from the second-earliest rack, perhaps?

  7. #7

    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    Nice guitar. Very rare with the Mono option. That kicks up the value a whole lot.
    I'm not sure where the "mono = rare" started. In 1959, Gibson shipped the following ES-355s:

    Mono: 177
    Stereo: 123

    Definitely more desirable. But not rarer.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by treyrab View Post
    I'm not sure where the "mono = rare" started. In 1959, Gibson shipped the following ES-355s:

    Mono: 177
    Stereo: 123

    Definitely more desirable. But not rarer.
    You don't think 177 ES-355 mono guitars built in 1959 constitutes rare? Okay. What does rare have to be?

    I'll just say this..... try to find another one in that condition.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
    Friar Park
    London, England

  9. #9

    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    You don't think 177 ES-355 mono guitars built in 1959 constitutes rare? Okay. What does rare have to be?

    I'll just say this..... try to find another one in that condition.
    1. It's all good man, I was simply making the point that '59 ES-355 in Mono were more common than Stereo. Not many people know this and are often misinformed.
    2. I know that guitar and the OP. All '59 ES guitars are amazing, and certainly including that one.
    3. I have a 1959 with less than 10 made. Pretty rare. Not bragging, but since you asked
    4. Cheers and rock on

  10. #10
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Get the Gibson Electrics book, has a serial number break down by month. The "A" number is the serial number, aka "Artist" serial number. I can you the info in a couple of days if nobody else here does.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    I love it and would give serious body parts for one like that!


  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member ourmaninthenorth's Avatar
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarMikey View Post
    Sweet guitar! A good place to start...

    http://www.es-335.com/2018/08/20/rare-and-then-some/

    +1.

    Gorgeous guitar. Hearty congratulations.

    Mr Gelber is a member here, I hope he comes in with his expertise in these matters.

    Here's a direct lift quote from the link above which is interesting -


    .... " The FON of the first 345’s from February is T7303. The earliest of the “first rack” 345’s is S8537-months later. The FON of the earliest 355 stereo in my database is S7624 which is one of the earliest in 1959. I just went through my archives and found another 355 with a short leg PAF but not the shallow rout. That was from the next rack S7625. The others (5 of them) from S7624 that I’ve had were all monos. So this might be the only rack with 355’s with these features. I think I can assume there are others like this, a rack is 35 guitars and I only have 6 from this rack and this is the only stereo and one of two stop tails in the rack. I can assume there are more stereos like this but probably not another stop tail stereo. That likely makes this one a unique example. Geeky stuff for sure. Geeky is what I do. "




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  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by VamboRool View Post
    Get the Gibson Electrics book, has a serial number break down by month.
    Must be a different "Gibson Electrics" book than the one I have. Could you please give more details on this book?
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  14. #14

    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by ourmaninthenorth View Post
    +1.

    Mr Gelber is a member here, I hope he comes in with his expertise in these matters.

    The OP has spoken to Charlie already I believe about the guitar. You're right though, Charlie is the best - Has the best ES guitars, knows everything about them, and super honest and helpful! Cheers all!

  15. #15

    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Spectacular! Congrats, HNGD and play her in good health!
    Midnight Blues

  16. #16

    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    Must be a different "Gibson Electrics" book than the one I have. Could you please give more details on this book?
    In Duchossoir's first edition (the one with the white cover), the monthly breakdown (pages 184-5) is more limited, but in the early 90's second edition (orange cover), there's a full month-by-month breakdown on pages 250-51.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member Little Jake's Avatar
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by McCarthy View Post
    I just picked up this 1959 355 factory mono w/ bigsby, and was wondering if you guys could help me with FON/serial number questions...

    How do I read these??

    S 7625 9
    A31109

    A31109 shipped mid-September 1959, between the 14th-17th.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by JimR56 View Post
    In Duchossoir's first edition (the one with the white cover), the monthly breakdown (pages 184-5) is more limited, but in the early 90's second edition (orange cover), there's a full month-by-month breakdown on pages 250-51.
    I don't know how I missed that. I'll check both books tomorrow at the shop.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  19. #19
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by treyrab View Post
    Charlie is the best - Has the best ES guitars......
    Hmmmm.......
    The artist formerly known as "A-hole".



  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member GuitarMikey's Avatar
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by F-Hole View Post
    Hmmmm.......
    Until he sells them to you
    GuitarMikey

  21. #21
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarMikey View Post
    Until he sells them to you
    Only one of the current herd came from Charlie, but it's a fine guitar.
    The artist formerly known as "A-hole".



  22. #22

    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by F-Hole View Post
    Hmmmm.......
    Ok ok....Best ES dealer

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Quote Originally Posted by treyrab View Post
    Ok ok....Best ES dealer
    ISWYDT.......and yes, he is.
    The artist formerly known as "A-hole".



  24. #24
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    Re: 1959 355 FON

    Beautiful 355 ! I love a nice 355 . So many greats have played a 355 like B.B. Chuck Berry, Keith Richards.

  25. #25

    Re: 1959 355 FON

    ...and Johnny Marr!! ;)

    Thanks everyone for the input and advice. According to the FON looks like a Feb-Mar date and as someone already mentioned a September ship date in 1959.

    This is a great 355, has some killer PAFs and that early fat neck A keeper for sure.


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