Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Seeking info re: ID and how/where to sell


Recommended Posts



I inherited a Gibson Les Paul "Black Beauty" (I think) from my uncle. I was told it was "worth a lot of money, so don't just forget about it". I was also told that "someone famous" either owned or played it and that was why it was so valuable. A guitarist friend of mine said "it plays smoothly and keeps tune".


These are my questions:


1 Is it really a Gibson Les Paul Black Beauty?


2 Is it an original or a remake/how does one tell when the guitar was made?


3 How/where do I go/is it possible to discover who originally purchased the guitar?


4 Where does one go to/how does one market a guitar like this?




I'm attaching a few pictures and can provide more upon request.


I thank you in advance for your time and efforts. I know very, very little about guitars, and I would greatly appreciate any advice/assistance you can provide. I know my uncle really loved this guitar, and I'd love to find out how to trace its history if possible.


post-75068-086459700 1448060690_thumb.jpeg


post-75068-094390300 1448060799_thumb.jpeg


post-75068-018253400 1448060897_thumb.jpeg


post-75068-038562000 1448061015_thumb.jpeg


Again, I have more pictures available. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Yes, with the caveat that "Black Beauty" is not an official model, it's just what we guitar freaks use to describe a black Gibson Les Paul Custom.


2. It is an original and was made in the very early 1970s. This is based on the serial number, the volute on the back of the neck (the pointy hump), the "Made in USA" stamped, etc. Dating a Gibson of this era is not an exact science. Rest assured, the person who buys this is not going to raise a fuss if it's a 1972 instead of a 1971.


3. None that I am aware of unless someone produces a receipt. I don't believe Gibson ever kept any such records.


4. This guitar could bring anywhere from $2500 up. I'm not an appraiser, I'm just basing it on the prices asked on sites such as reverb.com. Actually they are often priced at $4000 but I think they're smoking some good dope. Anyone can register and sell on reverb. Not plugging them, just pointing it out.


*edit* I just checked the completed items on ebay, looking for a Les Paul Custom between the years of 1971 and 1975. The prices were all over the place and ranged from $1525 to $5300 with the bulk of them in the $2000 range.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was also told that "someone famous" either owned or played it and that was why it was so valuable. ... 3 How/where do I go/is it possible to discover who originally purchased the guitar?


The only way you're going to find that out is by talking to friends and family that your uncle might have mentioned it to. Then, if true, you'd have a hard time proving it. As ksdaddy points out, the guitar is pretty valuable in its own right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your help.


Reading the serial number identification PDF gave me a headache the likes of which I've not experienced since college. *grins*


Do you have any suggestions for a sales market? I live in an extremely rural area, thus have extremely limited access to brick and mortar instrument shops. Is Ebay a viable market for an instrument like this one?


Thank you again. I greatly appreciate your combined assistance!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been selling on ebay for 16 years with about 8000 transactions and I can count on two hands the bad experiences I've had. So maybe I'm not the right person to talk to. Ebay is what you make it.


If you took it to a brick and mortar shop they will take a commission...could be 10%, could be 30%. It could sit on the rack for a year. It could get dropped. Someone WILL offer you half your asking price.


Or you could get your selling price before you hit the interstate. Hard to say.


If you put it on ebay, between ebay and Paypal, you can kiss 10% or more goodbye. Plus you will need to ship it. The buyer typically pays shipping but it's up to you to box it well or pay someone to do it. The good side is that everyone in the world is buying on ebay. You have a customer base of millions of people as opposed to how many at Pop's Music in Sheboygen?


Craiglist....no. You sell used lawnmowers and $1200 pickup trucks on craigslist.


Reverb.com. I've put a few things on there. Haven't sold a one.


Ask around and find someone you trust to sell it for you on ebay and tell them you'll give them 20% off the top. It's their account, they will get the bill for ebay fees and also Paypal fees. If it sells for $2500, he gets $500, clears a couple hundred for himself for a couple hours' work, and you walk away with two grand in your pocket.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...