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Gibson Byrdland

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Hey everyone, my grandfather passed down to me his Byrdland A33841 R4285 10 or at least thats what he had written down. I was wondering if anyone could help me with this and figuring out more about this (what seems to be) rare piece. He had it since he was a kid and its very important to me so Id like to continue trying to figure out more about it since he passed away in 2010. I attached a photo to see the guitar


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Hi Zack, 

Wow, what a great guitar to have inherited.  Your Byrdland dates to the spring of 1960, during the golden era of Gibson.  Both your serial number (the "A" series number) and your factory order number (FON, beginning with "R") confirm this.   More info about serial numbers and dating Gibson guitars can be found here:  http://www.guitarhq.com/gibson.html#serial

Your Byrdland is rare compared to some models, but not really the rarest of the rare.  Gibson produced about 50 sunburst finished Byrdlands per year between 1955 and 1965.  So they are out there.  Not the hardest model to find, but they were a high end model, and are quite valuable.  On the down side, some players never cared for the shorter scale length and narrower neck width at the nut, both of which were distinguishing features of the model.  So the demand for them was always somewhat affected by that.  It's also notable that your photo shows the guitar with a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece.  This is a custom feature which may or may not be original to the instrument, and also something that not all players would prefer (opinions will vary).

If you are able to, please post some current photos of the guitar.  I'm sure we'd all love to see it, and it would help to advise you in more detail about its condition, etc.

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