Guild Starfire III White Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1964)
Guild Starfire III White Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1964), made in Hoboken, NJ, white lacquer finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, period hard shell case. Item # 5098
This Starfire III is one of the rarest Guilds we have ever seen, with a solid white finish on the body and neck and style of single coil pickups not generally used on Starfires. This guitar dates to the beginning of 1964 and would have been a custom ordered instrument, likely one of a kind. Starfires were offered in several custom colors in addition to the standard cherry or sunburst, but solid white is extremely unusual and there are only a few white 1960's Guilds known to exist.
An even stranger feature of this guitar is the pickup array; these thin-coil plastic encased pickups (nicknamed at the factory the "Mickey Mouse") were used on the Thunderbird soildbody from 1965 and some T-100's and M-65's but were never on Starfires as a stock item. The solid white lacquer finish is applied over what appears to be an Ebony Grain finish-this would have been one way to clear out a flawed earlier finish job! The open-book style headstock is typical of Starfires from earlier than 1964; the label carries a serial number from the beginning of '64 and the model designation "Starfire III-White". Guild almost always helpfully indicated the original finish on 1960's labels!
More typical features for 1964 include the back-painted lucite pickguard, stair-stepped on the outer edge with gold Guild logo and star emblem. Other standard fittings include Grover Sta-tite tuners, black "G-logo" knobs and the Guild logo harp-shaped Bigsby tailpiece introduced in 1961. This is a very classy and extremely striking thin-body electric; a particularly unusual example of one of Guild's finest designs. Compared to period Gibson or Gretsch models this extremely striking instrument is still a rather undervalued guitar.
Overall length is 41 1/2 in. (105.4 cm.), 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 in. (5.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). Appears all original; Bigsby bridge saddle has been notched very cleanly and re-plated otherwise no alterations. Some finish chipping on the edges and around the headstock veneer but otherwise quite clean except for a patch of belt buckle wear on the back. There is a small seperation to the headstock wing joint below the low "E" tuner, firmly glued up but not touched up so it is visible. An excellent player with a brighter sound than most similar thinline hollowbody guitars, a truly unique instrument. Includes a mid-1960's Gretsch thinline case. Overall Excellent Condition.
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