Silvertone Model 1304 Wishbook Special Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar, made by Danelectro (1959)

Silvertone Model 1304 Wishbook Special Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar,  made by Danelectro  (1959)
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Item # 9537
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Silvertone Model 1304 Wishbook Special Model Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar, made by Danelectro (1959), made in Neptune, NJ, serial # 5949, brown lacquer with sparkles finish, masonite and pine body, poplar neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This unassuming little Danelectro creation is a fairly rare Silvertone model 1304 only offered in the yearly Sears Christmas "Wishbooks", shown paired with a very small amp in 1958, '59 and '60. This 1959 model was originally listed at all of $34.95 "Cash" not including the amp ($32.95) or the "sturdy chipboard" case, which set you (or dad) back an extra $6.95! These were clearly intended to be "under the tree" presents for aspiring electric young guitar players bothering their parents for a guitar. They were the direct forerunners to the familiar "amp-in-case" Silvertone models that proved massively popular in the 1960's.

This particular guitar dates to the 1959; the pots are from the 33rd week of that year. The model 1304 is the last of the original single-cutaway 1950's style Silvertone/Danno instruments with the "Coke bottle" headstock, being replaced in the Sears catalogs by this point with flashier designs. The parts are typical Danelectro fare, including the Masonite-and-pine semi-hollow body with vinyl edging, lipstick tube pickup and metal plate bridge with a rosewood saddle. The finish is a rather mundane medium brown undercoat with just a hint of gold sparkle in spots; soon enough Sears decided the kids would respond better to bolder sparkly finishes!

The very short 22 1/2" scale was specifically designed for young players. The neck is slim at the nut with a lot of taper and fairly chunky in profile, resulting in a very playable guitar. The single center-mounted pickup was unique in the "U" body series family and provides a unique tone, not particularly versatile but rich in snarly midrange. While a rather plain little guitar at first glance this is a cool and somewhat unusual Danelectro with a fun story behind it.
Overall length is 37 1/4 in. (94.6 cm.), 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 1/2 in. (572 mm.). Width of nut is 1 9/16 in. (40 mm.).

This 60+ year old Silvertone remains all original with some general wear overall but is an excellent player as these go. The finish has minor dings and dents and the surface on the top and back a bit of a mottled appearance; it's hard to tell if this was caused by a reaction to moisture along the way or was just the result of somewhat sloppy polishing-out at the factory! All hardware is original and complete, the neck and frets are excellent and this is a very easy-playing short-scale guitar and a cool funky-sounding old Danno. It resides in a decent generic '80s HSC with a few random stickers applied. Excellent - Condition.