Gretsch Model 6120 Chet Atkins Hollow Body Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1956)
Gretsch Model 6120 Chet Atkins Hollow Body Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1956), made in Brooklyn, NY, serial # 20887, "Western Orange" lacquer finish, laminated maple body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, alligtor grain chipboard case. Item # 7838
The 1950s Gretsch 6120 is one of the most iconic of the decade's American guitars, identifiable to even most casual guitar fans. During the decade, the 6120 model's features transitioned from the full-out western kitsch appeal of the first Chet Atkins model to the sleeker '60s stylings, always retaining the "Western Orange" body finish. This particular guitar is one of the "Last of the G-brands" from late 1956, and has a very unusual set of specific features found only in this serial number batch from the end of this model year.
While it retains the iconic "G" branded into the top, it also has several newer features that would be seen typically in 1957 models. These include a "Duane Eddy" style Bigsby with the stop built into the arm, G-logo knobs, the distinctive hump-block fingerboard inlay, and a horseshoe inlay in the headstock. According to the definitive book "Gretsch 6120" by Edward Ball, only a handful of 6120s exist with this combination of features, all from this 208xx serial number batch.
Ball calls this "A very rare confluence of features", and it certainly makes for a lovely and unique guitar. This particular guitar is specifically mentioned in the same book, as it amazingly still includes the original bill of sale and time-payment contract! The instrument was purchased -- on time -- along with a National amplifier and $25.00 case on October 29, 1956 in Denver, CO and paid off over the ensuing 24 months. We don't know where it has been since, but it has remained very well-cared-for for over 60+ years! Simply one of the coolest Gretsch guitars we have ever had, now back home in Brooklyn!
Overall length is 41 1/2 in. (105.4 cm.), 15 5/8 in. (39.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 13/16 in. (7.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 1/2 in. (622 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).
This guitar remains in VERY clean and original condition, a very well-cared-for instrument showing only very light wear and checking, with virtually no finish fade and all the original hardware. The only issue worth mentioning is the tortoise celluloid riser ring under the bridge pickup has offgassed just a bit affecting some of the plating on the hardware directly above it, and slightly staining the finish below. The guitar looks to have had a good neckset long ago, and there are no other issues; no binding deterioration or other typical Gretsch maladies. With an excellent neck angle and a new period-correct refret this is an exceptionally fine-playing and sounding example of this extremely rare 6120 variant, from the borderline between two of the absolute classic years.
This is easily one of the nicest Gretsch guitars we have ever had, with a sound and feel as good as they come! It includes what appears to be an original heavy-duty alligator grained chipboard case that looks to have always been with the guitar; it is almost certainly the $25.00 case noted on the receipt, as the Gretsch "cowboy" case was considerable more expensive! Excellent + Condition.
Prices subject to change without notice.
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