Gibson Skylark EH-500 Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1964)

Gibson  Skylark EH-500 Lap Steel Electric Guitar  (1964)
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Item # 9083
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Gibson Skylark EH-500 Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1964), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 231528, natural lacquer finish, korina wood body, period black hard shell case.

"Geez, I coulda been a Flying V"! Well...maybe not, but the sleek and stylish Skylark steel is mostly famous among dedicated Gibson fans not for what it is, but for what it is not. The light-grained African Korina wood these bodies are carved from is the same stash that the legendary 1950s "Modernistic" guitars (the Flying V and the Explorer) were built of, and Gibson used up the supply purchased in the mid-'50s on these lively little steels instead of generations of unbuilt futuristic solid-bodies. This is a late example dating to 1964, when all of 265 were shipped.

Each Skylark is a sort of small piece of the Korina grail, albeit one that was not made in the form that has achieved immortality! Taken on its own merits, the Skylark -- intended primarily for students -- is a very functional, snazzy-looking, and pro-grade lap steel guitar equipped with a single Melody Maker pickup, nickel-plated control plate, and cool plastic headstock logo, which is another feature shared with the Flying V! The abstractly shaped body has a two-level sculpted ledge around the edge and black gold-printed fingerboard pinned on. Those with uncurbable Korina fever often keep a snazzy little Skylark close at hand, a tangible piece of an otherwise unobtainable goal and a small reminder of one of Gibson's most elusive glories.
 
Overall length is 32 in. (81.3 cm.), 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 in. (2.5 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 in. (559 mm.). Width of nut is 2 in. (51 mm.).

This is a super clean and all-original Skylark, in the original black chipboard case. There is very minor corrosion to some of the plated metal and the wood shows lacquer checking with some small dings, scuffs, and dents, but really there is very little wear overall. This steel is as nice a Skylark as we've had, ready to take flight in a Korina dream. It has a cool provenance too, having been part of the Walter Becker (of Steely Dan) collection...his storage markings are still on the case, and the auction tags are included. Overall Excellent + Condition.