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1952 Les Paul + Fender Deluxe 5c3: getting appraised soon

superbadj

New member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
11
Hi all,

I'm a long-time active member over at the TDPRI. Recently, a friend of mine said a family member had an "old guitar" that might that some value. I said I'd come check it out and see what's what. Here's what I found.

Gotta be a '52 LP gold top, obvs different bridge and added Bigsby. The low neck angle, tall knobs, flat case, no serial on headstock, and square ground wire route in the cavity all say '52 to me.

Amp is a 5c3 wide panel Deluxe. Check that serial number!

Both are really in incredible shape. Guitar looks amazing, it's solid all around, no neck issues or other problems.

Anyway, anyone have Joe Bonamassa's phone number? lol, I'm kidding.

But not really.

Now: I'm having issues uploading images to bear with me...
 

superbadj

New member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
11
I was directed your way by the good folks at the TDPRI.

My plan is to get a Gruhn appraisal (via email/picture at first, likely taking it there in person for a physical appraisal soon).

So...thoughts? And yeah, anyone know where Joe is? :)
 

DutchRay

Active member
Joined
Mar 15, 2015
Messages
282
Very nice find,they are still out there, so did you buy it or do you want to have it appraised for the current owner?
 

superbadj

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Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
11
Thanks @DutchRay. No, I'm not buying it (I'm not a collector at all), just helping the owner get a fair shake when she sells it. She had zero idea what she had or what it was worth, and I'm glad no one has ripped her off because of it. So we're getting a phone/email (photo) appraisal so she can get it properly insured, then we'll move forward with figuring out the sales path. I have zero stake in the thing other than wanting to help the owner, and I'd love to see the guitar go somewhere it's appreciated of course. Even for a tele guy like me, it's quite a thing to hold a 52 LP gold top that is in giggable shape now. It was really solid, nothing was wonky or loose or felt fragile. Pole pieces on the P90s seemed high to me but otherwise, new strings and she's ready to go.
 

BursTech

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Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
4
Nice looking pair superbad, do you know if they were originally purchased together at the same time from the same music store? The Fender Deluxe appears to be from April 1953 which means it is likely from the first batch of Wide Panel 5C3 models. It would be interesting to see the 3 numbers stamped in white ink on the speaker frame near where the wire is soldered.
 

superbadj

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Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
11
I don't know that for sure, BursTech. But given the age of each, and I was told the owner bought them in the mid-50s....I would think he got them new and together. His wife, who is who I'm helping here, can't say for certain if he bought them new or used, or together or separate. But she said she's positive he got them in the mid-50s. So my guess would be that he bought them both new, together, or very close in time. I wouldn't think that would make a major difference in value, though it's certainly a nice addition to the narrative.

Given that the amp is serial #0008, yes I would think it's from as early in that run as it could be. Next time I'm near the amp I can check out that stamp you're referencing (it's about 3hrs from me...I drove to document it yesterday).
 

agogetr

Active member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
383
is that a hole poking out the side of the bigsby? if theres some wierd hole business like that i would be the 10k guy. however if thats an optical illusion i will buy that guitar for 13k right now from you.(if you can get it within a couple hundred miles of me) it could be worth 18k or maybe someone would go 15k, not sure. if she got 15k she wouldnt be giving the guitar away and 13k is a quick sale type of deal.(or wholesale if you will) its nice the guitar has the flat case.
the amp is a nice example dont let anyone touch it ,let the buyer decide if he wants to keep the 2 prong cord or not. etc etc. i would pay 2200 for it, (i already have a bunch) its probably worth 3k. she would be doing not to bad if she got 2500 for it. the low number is really cool.
it would be stellar if the guitar and amp could remain together as they were probably bought together new. its really a cool looking les paul, i like the bigsby on it.
 

VamboRool

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
348
That's an awesome pair! Thanks for posting the pictures. See if your friend has any photos of her husband playing back in the day. Have you looked to see if it is a factory Bigsby or if it was added later on?
 

VamboRool

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
348
The pot codes ,which will give you their date of manufacture, will be on the sides of the pots, you maybe able to read them using a dental mirror.
 

superbadj

New member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
11
That's an awesome pair! Thanks for posting the pictures. See if your friend has any photos of her husband playing back in the day. Have you looked to see if it is a factory Bigsby or if it was added later on?
Given that it's a '52, which has been verified, it has to be an add-on Bigsby, likely in the mid-50s as the factory started put them them on at that time. The owner probably saw that and thought "cool, I want one of those wiggle sticks."

On the pot codes, I didn't think of a dental mirror, good call. All the electronics do appear stock, but that's a good way to verify that.

In the case, we found a reel (tape) and are having that digitized soon. I don't know about pictures of the late husband playing it. I'll ask.

@agogetr I'll send you a DM. We do have an asking price for the set.
 

fernieite

Active member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
407
Welcome to the forum Superbadj! What a great piece of history, and some excellent photos. That's very nice of you to help this lady out, as well. (y)

Oh, by the way; some of us like Les Pauls and Teles equally and are on both forums! :geek:
 
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VamboRool

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
348
Any update on pricing? Would she consider selling separately? Roughly, where is the guitar located?
 
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