Silvertone H-61 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar, made by Harmony (1958)

 Silvertone H-61 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar, made by Harmony  (1958)
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Item # 10885
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Silvertone H-61 Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar, made by Harmony (1958), made in Chicago, serial # 2427 H61, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, laminated spruce top; maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown chipboard case.

This is a super nice example of a cool if fairly obscure Harmony/Silvertone model, the H-61. This slightly plainer Sears, Roebuck & Co. offering is one of Harmony's better grade 1950s electric guitars. The H-61 was the most basic of three similar instruments, lacking the H-63 Espanada's gleaming black finish and metal edged trim or the H-62's second pickup.

The H-61 is a conventionally appointed full-depth 16 1/2" archtop mounting a single pickup in the neck position with a simple volume and tone setup. The pickup itself was sourced from Gibson, through their parent company CMI. This is the plainer version of a unit referred to as the P-13; these metal-covered pickups (made with or without adjustable poles) were Gibson's immediate predecessor to the P-90 first issued in 1940. After WWII, Gibson did not employ them again but CMI sold large numbers to Harmony, which used them on better grade electrics up through the late '50s.

Apart from the pickup, the H-62 is a plain but still fairly classy instrument. The laminated maple body with a spruce top is bound top and back, and the set-in maple neck has a bound rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlay. The neck has a chunky but still comfortable round profile, more player friendly then similar competitors from crosstown rival Kay. The tuners are openback Waverlys with plastic buttons, the adjustable rosewood bridge, simple tailpiece and large celluloid pickguard are standard Harmony fare.

With its single Gibson-made pickup the H-6i is a very good-sounding instrument; While not particularly versatile it can range from sweet to raunchy when coaxed. The internal factory date code on this guitar marks it as a 1958 model; by that time the H-61 had been deleted from Harmony's catalog, replaced by the similar but fancier H-65. These last H-61 models were provided to Sears and carry just a plain black headstock with the familiar "Silvertone' logo. Plain but well-made and attractive the H-62 is indeed still a solid performer today; one of Harmony's best crafted designs if far from their flashiest!
Overall length is 41 3/4 in. (106 cm.), 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).
This is a truly superb example, one of the nicest '50s Harmonys we have ever had. The finish shows some very general wear but nothing too serious. There are some small dings, dents and scrapes to the all-original lacquer finish but no really notable wear. All hardware is original and in excellent shape, as expected the nickel plating has some light dulling but the instrument is pretty much as it left Chicago in 1958 with few signs of actual play.

The standard Harmony issues are absent; the neck is quite straight, the angle good and the frets show virtually no wear making this as good a playing H-61 example as anyone is likely to find! With its set neck and Gibson-derived pickup this is definitely one of Harmony's nicer 1950s guitars, and this example is as good as one gets! The original good-grade heavy chipboard case is included, with some visible repairs to the seams but solid. Excellent + Condition.