Gibson ES-295 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1953)

Gibson  ES-295 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1953)
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Item # 8821
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Gibson ES-295 Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1953), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # A-15197, gold lacquer finish, laminated maple body; mahogany neck with brazilian rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

Here is a played but not abused and great-sounding example of one of Gibson's flashiest archtops, the ES-295. Finished in gleaming gold overall with a cream-colored floral decorated pickguard, the 295 has been long recognized as one of the most iconic guitars of the 1950s. The model is equipped with double P-90 pickups with white plastic "dog ear" covers and the classic four-knob tone/volume control array with amber "hatbox" knobs and switch tip. The top is triple-bound; the back and fingerboard are single-bound. The 19 fret rosewood fingerboard has double parallelogram inlays; the headstock has a pearl crown and "Gibson" inlay.

The guitar features all gold-plated hardware including the adjustable patent pending "Les Paul" trapeze style bridge/tailpiece with the strings looping over, a defining element in its powerful tone. Other than this bridge unit, the ES-295 is essentially a flashier ES-175D featuring the same laminated maple body and mahogany neck of that model with the eye-catching finish of an all gold Les Paul.

Gibson built 1,770 ES-295s between 1952 and 1958, and they are one of the company's most recognizable 1950s classics. This particular guitar dates to around September 1953, one of 637 sold in this, the model's single most popular year. The ES-295 was famously the guitar played by Scotty Moore on Elvis Presley's iconic Sun records, and is often considered the ultimate Rockabilly guitar. The classic 1950s Ersel Hickey photo that epitomizes the Rockabilly aesthetic features him with his ES-295 and drape suit, the quintessential bopper. The all-gold showboat ranks along with the Gretsch 6120 as the quintessential "Cool Cat's" guitar and a great-playing/sounding instrument to boot!
 
Overall length is 40 3/4 in. (103.5 cm.), 16 1/16 in. (40.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This is a great-looking and playing 295 with tons of vibe; well-played but not abused. It retains all original finish and hardware and the guitar actually looks relatively clean from the front, with one noticeable scrape by the controls and a bit of "greening" on the top edge armwear area. Several areas of finish are gone from the back of the neck as is very typical for this model -- the gold lacquer generally reacts to the player's hand over time, turning greenish and flaking off, so many are in this state. There is a light clear sealer overspray to the back of the neck only; it remains comfortable to play.

The finish shows surprisingly little checking overall, and there are small dings and chips but no major worn-away areas. The gold plating is mostly well-worn with a nice patina, with some small rusted areas. The guitar retains the original thin frets with some wear, but still fully playable. The finger board has some shallow divots in the lower positions. The jack area has a typical very minor flex crack; there are no other apparent repairs. This is an excellent gigging 295; still original and of course flashy as always -- and just a great-sounding 1950s Gibson with a fantastic vibe as well. Includes a modern HSC. Excellent - Condition.