Gibson ES-175 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1954)

Gibson  ES-175 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1954)
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Item # 9312
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Gibson ES-175 Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1954), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # A-16398, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown hard shell case.

This is a truly superb example of a mid-1950s ES-175, Gibson's classic "Working Man's" Jazz guitar. The model was introduced in 1949; this one was built in early 1954 when it had already proved a very successful design finding immediate acceptance for its combination of great sound and playability at a moderate price. The sunburst-finished laminated maple body is triple-bound on the front and single bound on the back, the rosewood fingerboard 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 a single P-90 pickup with a black plastic cover and volume and tone controls with numbered amber "hatbox" knobs. The standard Gibson rosewood adjustable bridge is fitted with a transitional base; the original full-contact piece re-carved to the earliest two-footed design, an oddity specific to this period. It also carries the earlier cast L-7 style tailpiece and a laminated black plastic pickguard. The Gibson label under the bass f-hole bears an "Artist" serial number which indicates this guitar was shipped out around February 1954. This particular style 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. This one is a gem, one of the nicest we have had in some time.
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 super clean example showing only some very light wear and no repairs or alterations. There is some typical very minor finish checking and a few tiny dings and dents but really 65 year old guitars rarely show up much cleaner than this. The top finish has some minor streaks of discoloration centered around the knobs; it looks like perhaps someone cleaned the electronics with something that reacted a bit with the finish. This is pretty subtle but noticeable on close inspection.

There is a small rubbed-away spot on the outer edge of the heel and some very light fret wear in the lower positions, other than these there is very little evidence the guitar was played much at all. The nickel plating on the tailpiece and pickguard bracket shows some typical clouding and minor corrosion. This 175 plays and sounds exactly as it should, an exceptional example of this most classic of vintage "jazz boxes" complete in the original brown HSC. Excellent + Condition.