Gibson ES-175N Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1952)

Gibson  ES-175N Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1952)

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Item # 7922
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Gibson ES-175N Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1952), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # A-12569, natural lacquer finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown hard shell case.

This is a lovely example of the rarer natural blonde version of an early-1950s ES-175, Gibson's classic "Working Man's" jazz guitar. This guitar was built when the 175 was a fairly new but already very successful design, having found immediate acceptance with players for its combination of great sound and playability at a moderate price. The natural finish laminated body is triple bound on the front and single bound on the back; the neck is single bound with split parallelogram fingerboard inlays. The headstock carries the pearl Gibson logo and crown inlay and Kluson Deluxe tuners with "keystone" buttons.

The original hardware includes the single P-90 pickup with a black plastic cover and numbered "hatbox" knobs. The standard Gibson rosewood adjustable bridge is mated to the earlier type-cast L-7 style tailpiece. The white Gibson label under the bass f-hole originally carries an "Artist" serial number, indicating a shipment date of very early 1953; the stamped factory order number under the treble f-hole dates the guitar's construction to 1952. Only 181 natural finish ES-175s were shipped in 1953, compared to over 800 sunburst examples, so this blonde beauty is comparatively rare. This particular style of ES-175 was used by far too many jazz guitar greats to count; in the 1950s and '60s, Herb Ellis especially was associated with the model.
 
Overall length is 40 1/2 in. (102.9 cm.), 16 1/8 in. (41 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This guitar shows some general wear and tear but remains all original with no major repairs or modifications. The finish is checked as is common with most Gibsons from this period, and there is an armwear spot on the top edge. The back of the neck has some dings and finish loss, but not enough to be distracting.

The original owner engraved his name, "Bennie Rochat", in neat script on the headstock face just under the Gibson logo, and his initials and the year "1953" in the base of the heel where they are now partially obscured by a strap button. The original frets still have plenty of life in them and this blonde looker plays and sounds exactly as it should; "A Blue Note record in your hands", as one of our regulars put it.

Includes the original brown HSC that is in good condition overall, but has a substantial crack on the bottom plate; it is still fully functional despite this. A cool package; one of the classic jazz guitars of all time with a quirky personalization, but ready to play anything today. Excellent - Condition.