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1943 Epiphone F.T.79 No.18905


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Hello everyone. I am the new guy that knows almost nothing about guitars. I came here to find out some information on a guitar that i was given from my grandfather. I was thinking bout selling it and started to do some searching just to see if i could find anything out about it. i was figuring it may be worth a hundred buck or maybe 2 when i camw to realize that i very well may be wrong.


The guitar i an Epiphone ft79 but not a texan. the number next to the model is 18905 and this dates it to be made in 1943. the guitar is definately playable but does have its problems because it was a "players" guitar.


Any information that sanyone can share would be greatly appreciated and if anyone knows what it may be worth or what i may get for it that would be great



i need to take some pictures and post them so as soon as i figure out how to fully use this site i will post some.






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Jkline969 what you have there is a gem, just from the pics I would say for its age it would be listed as excellent ( unless ther are some body cracks on the back/front that are not seen ) these were called the old body style and can garner some serious cash especially when you find two or more buyers intersted its not very often when you find the old style FT-79's ( pre Texans ) they are listed as Spruce top/walnut back and sides ( and there are folks intersted just because of the Walnut aspect lately )cherry neck, 20 fret rosewood fingerboard with Parallelograminlays,rosewood bridge/ open back tuners and they had either cherry burst/natural or sunburst finish. with a 16.5 inch body width.

The blue book lists them as $2500-3000 in excellent shape $1500-2000 in average shape, but when you find one that has a decent neck and the body is not cracked or the bnding has not come off it is very possible to see as much as another 50-75% higher but then as I mentioned with the right buyers intersted it could even be more.

You mentioned problems because of it being a player instrument well if the neck is still straight and it doesn't require a neck reset basic wear such as frets and a few minor scratchs and even very lite dents shouldn't effect the price.

You know unless you don't play its not the kind of guitar I would sell, its meant to be played and handed over to your next in line. But I do understand that the economy down south is a lot tougher then for us Canadians, good luck ad I do hope the info helps you either way and if I had the room I wouldn't be posting this but making you a cash offer at the high end and some more to get it up here. But I only have room for the seven I have now.ship...........good luck John and if you can let us know and see how the back looks also so more pictures would be great and a side picture of the string height around the 12th fret.

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I wouldn't sell it period.


1. Not all that many guitars were made in wartime regardless.

2. It's your Grandpa's and there ain't many who can say that.

3. The value is far, far higher than a cupla bucks.


Now, if you absolutely have to sell it, be my guest.


Seriously John... it's worth keeping because it's an antique beauty worth "display" as art even if you don't play and have no inclination to play this one. The fact that it was Grandpa's makes it worth more.


Even if you sell it with an absolute minimum price of $3 grand - more I'd say if it's reeeally playable and that's an original hard case - you've lost something few of us have.


For example, my grandparents wanted me to get Grandpa's old shotgun and my brother to get Grandma's. Dad decided that Grandpa's takedown wasn't safe and literally threw it and its special-made leather case into the garbage. I would have either fixed it or made certain nobody could get hurt trying to fire it, and "Grandpa's gun" would have been on the wall until I croaked or gave it to a nephew.


And I still am jealous of my brother's possession of Grandma's shotgun.



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I love those pre-Gibson FT-79s. If it were me you would have one heck of a time prying it out of my hands.


Dating a guitar using Wartime serial numbers can be tricky. Although most sources list serial numbers for guitars made during wartime, the 1944 Epiphone catalog shows that while most of the company's archtops were being offered, production of pretty much everything else - flattops, mandolins, banjos and so on - had been "Discontinued for the Duration."


This does not mean that the guitar was not made in 1943 as I do not exactly what year production was shut down. The stickpin inlay and metal truss rod cover alone certainly indicate an instrument made in the 1940s.


A very cool guitar.

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A very cool guitar indeed and great story to it!

Unlike other Epiphone flat tops of that era these had a more Martin-like "square shoulder" body shape.

Not many of these are around, so I am sure some collectors would be very interested.


I am quite interested in the history of the old NY Epi instruments - and so I was surprised to see that it has the so-called "Masterbilt label": a serial number of 18905 seems unusually high/late for this type of label! I looked through my files and as far as I am aware the last Epiphones with a Masterbilt label show a s/n around 16xxx. After that they changed to a different "green label", until s/n 20xxx. (Even later when Epiphone introduced a new serial number system in c. 1944 - starting with s/n 50000 - a "blue label" was used.) Looks like maybe someone at the factory grabbed an "outdated" label in those chaotic years when Epiphone like many other companies partly shifted to war-related production - or maybe it was actually produced earlier and someone mistyped an "8" instead of a "6"... (?)


Anyway, congratulations on your great find, and thanks for sharing!

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A guitar players' guitar (Not one that is bought, then spends 99% of it's life in under the bed), is a very personal item. A lot of songs have been played on it and has seen a lot of the player's emotion. Of this era, guitar players generally owned one guitar, so this makes it more special.


This is why it is hard to part with a guitar of this value. Yes, you need the money, but someone in your family might be tickled pink to have it, play it and pass it on.


If you must sell it, then do so. Just don't make a big deal about it and tell the whole family. What they don't know won't hurt them.


I'd hate to be in your shoes.

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