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  1. 1. Review the history of the Nick Lucas Special. The most expensive flat top in the catalog for many years, and hardly ever made the same way twice. The guitar was made with banjo tuners, strip tuners, and individual tuners. At least 5 different bridge styles. 12 fret, 13 fret, 14 fret. Two different body sizes. Headstock inlay or no headstock inlay. And a body made from mahogany, no wait, rosewood, back to mahogany, and then maple. It is a great example of an expensive, special-order instrument that was only ever made in small batches or sometimes a "batch" of 1. The construction and materials reflected what Gibson had on hand at the time. 2. Read Joe Spann's book.
  2. I really have to disagree. There is very little evidence of Gibson ever making or selling "prototype" instruments, and most of the time that explanation is used to explain away non-original modifications, or create a myth around a guitar to hype the value for resale (the Burnett AJ, for example). Since this guitar has had at least a top refinish, that suggests a very different story. What we do see is Gibson using up parts on hand (sometimes even mismatched) to complete an order and get a guitar out the door. Especially on more expensive and rarely ordered instruments. Gibson produced a lot of "floor sweep" type instruments that defy easy model categorization. Unless the unusual features are desirable to players or collectors, it may even detract from the value. We also see people who change and modify their instruments after they get them. And Gibson has been known to repair instruments with later versions of similar parts. These are infinitely more likely scenarios. I would hate to plant the poisonous idea of "super valuable prototype" in someone's mind incorrectly... if they intend to sell over valuing and incorrectly identifying the guitar could make it unlikely to ever find a buyer.
  3. Why not list them on Australian ebay? That's a large market where vintage guitars are scarce and close enough to ship without much worry.
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