Gibson ES-140 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1954)

Gibson  ES-140 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1954)
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Item # 9702
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Gibson ES-140 Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1954), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # X8462-6 (FON), sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown tolex hard shell case.

The 1950s ES-140 is an extremely cool little Gibson creation, and a surprisingly great sounding guitar. Gibson offered this diminutive 3/4 size electric archtop through the early 1950s, described in the catalog as perfect for students, "ladies", guitarists "with smaller hands", or anyone desiring a compact fully hollow guitar. It was a steady but fairly low volume seller over the decade with 367 shipped out in 1954. For the 1957 catalog the ES-140 was converted to a thin body instrument, this 1954 model is the original (and cooler, we think) full-depth version.

Looking deceptively almost like a toy ES-175, the ES-140 is in fact a fully professional quality instrument with a great-feeling round profile neck, single P-90 pickup, and simple appointments. With a smaller body cavity the tone is a bit brighter and snappier than the typical ES-175. This ES-140 shows some signs of use but remains in nicely original condition. It plays beautifully and has an amazingly big honking tone for such a small instrument -- we think it sounds better than many full-sized archtops!
Overall length is 36 1/2 in. (92.7 cm.), 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 23 in. (584 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This is a very nice playing and sounding example, showing some light wear overall but all original except for new buttons on the Kluson Deluxe tuners. The finish shows very fine checking and small dings, scratches, and chips overall. There are two inconspicuous small screw holes in the headstock face where something -- perhaps a string damper -- was once mounted. All hardware is complete and original (except those tuner buttons) with some corrosion to the metal parts, but nothing too severe.

This ES-140 has a particularly good neck angle and the original frets are still in solid shape with just some minor wear in the lower positions, making for a very nice playing example. It is super cool little 1950s Gibson, great fun to play, and still housed in the original brown HSC, which many original buyers did not spring for. The case hardware shows some fairly heavy rust but everything still works and it is otherwise in solid condition. Overall Excellent - Condition.