Gibson ES-175 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1955)

Gibson  ES-175 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1955)
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Item # 8809
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Gibson ES-175 Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1955), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # A-21381, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown hard shell case.

This is a truly superb example of the 1950s ES-175, Gibson's classic "Working Man's" Jazz guitar introduced in 1949. This one was built in late 1955 when the 175 was already a very successful design, having found immediate acceptance with players for its combination of great sound and playability at a moderate price. The sunburst 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 fitted along with the earlier cast L-7 style tailpiece. The Gibson label under the bass f-hole bears an "Artist" serial number which indicates the guitar was shipped out around October 1955. 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 is often pictured with a guitar virtually identical to this one.
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 is a superbly clean and original guitar overall, with some light wear and a few typical player maintenance tweaks. The dark sunburst finish is all original and shows very little play wear overall, with an amazingly clean and only lightly checked patina for a mid-1950s guitar. There is some scuffing and one small round spot of missing finish on the back, which actually looks more like some sort of chemical contact than a wear spot. The back of the neck is quite clean with a couple of worn through spots right down near the nut. The front treble side corner of the headstock has a chip off the edge, and the back edge is a bit worn down.

The external hardware is all original and also amazingly clean; the tuners, knobs and tailpiece are so unworn they looked like re-issues at first glance but all are original. Internally the P-90 pickup is original but the pots and jack have been nearly replaced...perhaps the originals were judged too noisy. The owner of this guitar must have been a very fastidious person! It has also been refretted with correct period style wire, again an exceptionally clean and accurate job. Overall this is one of the nicest early ES-175s we have had; a delightful-playing and sounding guitar complete in its original brown Gibson HSC. Excellent + Condition.