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Lucciano

What is the earliest les Paul

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Well i think they started selling them in 1952. Do you have a picture? IF it's genuine it could be worth a pretty penny. From watching Antiques Roadshow they will show from time to time people that come in with legit old Les Pauls or Strats that they found in a closet or their family member purchased and never played and was then handed down to them.

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Well i think they started selling them in 1952. Do you have a picture? IF it's genuine it could be worth a pretty penny. From watching Antiques Roadshow they will show from time to time people that come in with legit old Les Pauls or Strats that they found in a closet or their family member purchased and never played and was then handed down to them.

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Hello Lucciano!

 

Welcome to the Forums!

 

What makes You think it is a '51?

 

Cheers... Bence

 

 

My Grandpa said that this was the year he bought it . This is why I'm looking for confirmation . I've checked many of websites and all they say is that they were selling in 52 but prototypes were being dispersed in 51. Not that it matters a hole lot as it was refinished at one point in time.

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...I have what I think is a 1951 Les Paul...Is their a way to date this as there wasn't serial #'s on the early ones...

The prototype was taken up to Les Paul in "...late 1951 or early 1952..." according to the guitar historian Gil Hembree.

 

The official unveiling was from July 27th - 31st 1952 at the Hotel New Yorker in the city of that name.

Immediately before this there was a 'music trades' pre-release showing in the Waldorf Astoria on the 24th & 25th.

 

Les Paul himself first used one publicly in June '52.

 

Early LPs had unbound 'boards and the bridge p'up fixing screws are at the corners rather than in-line with the pole-pieces.

 

As far as authenticating the instrument is concerned; there are a few specialist dealers who can verify the originality of the guitar.

 

P.

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My Grandpa said that this was the year he bought it . This is why I'm looking for confirmation . I've checked many of websites and all they say is that they were selling in 52 but prototypes were being dispersed in 51. Not that it matters a hole lot as it was refinished at one point in time.

 

I see. Despite of refinishing, it is possible to tell whether it's one from the first runs, or not. Please, post some pictures.

 

Best wishes... Bence

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My Grandpa said that this was the year he bought it . I've checked many of websites and all they say is that they were selling in 52 but prototypes were being dispersed in 51. Not that it matters a hole lot as it was refinished at one point in time.

A couple of points;

If he says he bought it from a dealership then you should bear in mind they were not commercially available until summer 1952 as stated above (post #7).

If it was a prototype then it's almost certain that he couldn't have bought it from a dealership.

 

The design hadn't been finalised before early '52 and it's unthinkable that Gibson would let a prototype of such an important 'project' go at this time - before release.

Many of the 'fail' protoypes were cut-up as the design was pefected although a couple DO survive.

I have pictures of the two known and authenticated 1951 (one possibly early 1952) Les Paul prototypes. Both, however, are very different from final production instruments.

 

What finish was it before it was re-finished? If it was originally in Gold-Top finish, and it looks like a '52 Gold-Top, then in all probability it is a '52 Gold-Top...

 

P.

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A couple of points;

If he says he bought it from a dealership then you should bear in mind they were not commercially available until summer 1952 as stated above (post #7).

If it was a prototype then it's almost certain that he couldn't have bought it from a dealership.

 

The design hadn't been finalised before early '52 and it's unthinkable that Gibson would let a prototype of such an important 'project' go at this time - before release.

Many of the 'fail' protoypes were cut-up as the design was pefected although a couple DO survive.

I have pictures of the two known and authenticated 1951 (one possibly early 1952) Les Paul prototypes. Both, however, are very different from final production instruments.

 

What finish was it before it was re-finished? If it was originally in Gold-Top finish, and it looks like a '52 Gold-Top, then in all probability it is a '52 Gold-Top...

 

P.

To my knowledge it was a cream colour I never seen it before the refinish. Did the gold tops have a flat body as the ones ive seen are shaped a bit

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To my knowledge it was a cream colour I never seen it before the refinish. Did the gold tops have a flat body as the ones ive seen are shaped a bit

 

Photos of the guitar from multiple angles including close-up shots could help us determine what it is.

 

-Ryan

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Yup... WE DEMAND PICS!! or it didn't happen :P :)

 

(but seriously, an old one like that would be of much interest around here [thumbup] )

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Here's something which carries a considerable bit of academic interest.

It shows (a poor repro of a snap of - don't blame me!) the only carved-maple-top prototype Les Paul to have survived as mentioned in post #9.

It's 'rescue' was described thus;

 

"A past Gibson plant foreman/designer, Larry Allers, made it a point to save this very important guitar.

...it was a miracle that such a historical instrument was actually saved from the bandsaw. We will be forever indebted to (his) foresight.."

 

4a26ca27-749c-4b4f-9d15-989137be411b_zpsda279469.jpg

 

Pretty much everyone Gil Hembree interviewed regarding the genesis of the Les Paul cites Larry Allers as being the person who, almost single-handedly, made the concept a reality.

Ted McCarty, Les Paul and Maurice Berlin each had important input but it was Larry Allers who made the ideas come to fruition.

 

P.

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Looking for some info . I have what I think is a 1951 Les Paul that was given to me by my dad . Is their a way to date this as there wasn't serial #'s on the early ones

 

You'd have to look at the codes on the volume and tone potentiometers. Assuming they were never changed, that would be a starting point to establish age.

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Here's something which carries a considerable bit of academic interest.

It shows (a poor repro of a snap of - don't blame me!) the only carved-maple-top prototype Les Paul to have survived as mentioned in post #9.

It's 'rescue' was described thus;

 

"A past Gibson plant foreman/designer, Larry Allers, made it a point to save this very important guitar.

...it was a miracle that such a historical instrument was actually saved from the bandsaw. We will be forever indebted to (his) foresight.."

 

4a26ca27-749c-4b4f-9d15-989137be411b_zpsda279469.jpg

 

Pretty much everyone Gil Hembree interviewed regarding the genesis of the Les Paul cites Larry Allers as being the person who, almost single-handedly, made the concept a reality.

Ted McCarty, Les Paul and Maurice Berlin each had important input but it was Larry Allers who made the ideas come to fruition.

 

P.

 

 

i'd give my left almond to have THAT guitar !!!

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My Grandpa said that this was the year he bought it . This is why I'm looking for confirmation . I've checked many of websites and all they say is that they were selling in 52 but prototypes were being dispersed in 51. Not that it matters a hole lot as it was refinished at one point in time.

There is always the simple chance that your Grandpa was simply mistaken in his retelling of the history of that guitar. He could also have, by prototype, simply meant the original release; the first line of Les Paul guitars publicly marketed...

 

That simple and innocent potential would explain alot...

 

But if it's a Junior, with a flat body, it would be a later model anyway. It sounds like maybe it was an original TV yellow Les Paul Junior...

 

If my memory serves correct, I thought some early TV Yellow models were more cream-like in hue...

 

"
"

 

Having said/posted that from Wikipedia, I suspect there are plenty of guys in here that are way more knowledgeable and accurate historians than Wiki...

 

Still would like to see pics!

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There is always the simple chance that your Grandpa was simply mistaken in his retelling of the history of that guitar. He could also have, by prototype, simply meant the original release; the first line of Les Paul guitars publicly marketed...

 

That simple and innocent potential would explain alot...

 

But if it's a Junior, with a flat body, it would be a later model anyway. It sounds like maybe it was an original TV yellow Les Paul Junior...

 

If my memory serves correct, I thought some early TV Yellow models were more cream-like in hue...

 

"
"

 

Having said/posted that from Wikipedia, I suspect there are plenty of guys in here that are way more knowledgeable and accurate historians than Wiki...

 

Still would like to see pics!

 

No, they made white ones as well as TV yellow. They fetch a pretty penny. Had a chance to buy one in the 80's but didn't and still regret it. Had just bought a red 59 Junior the week before and had no money. The shop had two white ones that they had just gotten in.

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No, they made white ones as well as TV yellow. They fetch a pretty penny. Had a chance to buy one in the 80's but didn't and still regret it. Had just bought a red 59 Junior the week before and had no money. The shop had two white ones that they had just gotten in.

Ah, that makes sense...

I had seen one or two somewhere listed as TV Yellow that were actually whitish in color; like an antique white. They must have been misidentified...

 

Is there much of a difference between the '59 & '54? Did the early Juniors also sport the wrap-tail?

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Managed to send a pic to a gentleman on this board he says it is a Les Paul Junior 1955-58 is there a way to date it closer

 

Judging by the shape of the pick guard, that guitar might have started life as a Les Paul Special. I believe that was the name of the Junior that came with two pick ups. If the volume and tone potentiometers are original, they have codes on them that will give you an approximate date of manufacture. See if you can get the numbers off them and post them here. I wonder how old those pickups are? They might be from the late 50s or early 60s.

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