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I have a ES335 in tobacco finish. it has the serial number 440124 stamped on the headstock, but no 'made in America'. The 4th digit is unclear, but likely a '1'. Looking through the 'f' hole, I can also see that the label inside is the purple / black triangle / rectangle design. I purchased it second hand in 1992 and was told then it was from around the 70's. I've really struggled to establish its exact date of manufacture. Can anyone assist?






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The label you have first went into use around 1970. The “Made in USA” stamp also started about this same time. Your guitar is right in between these two changes which happened around the same time. The serial number, according to my book should be 1974-1975. This is unlikely. If you could read a pot code, either with a mirror or borescope, that would help pinpoint it a bit more. I would guess early 1970.

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Hello Alicat,

It is likely between '71 and '74 when walnut tops were popular. the purple, black and white sticker started in late '70/early '71. The best way to know for sure is to get a date code from one of the pots. A small inspection mirror through the f-hole  and a flashlight might make the code readable. I have a '69 335 which by the serial# could have been either '66 or '69. The date code on one of the pots corresponded to '68 which eliminated the possibility of '66. Unfortunately for you the early '70's had no definitive serial number scheme. They were all over the place.

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