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The Gibson ES-295 was introduced in 1952 and shared the same finish as the original Gibson Les Paul Goldtop. The ES-295 was in production from 1952-1958 and made famous by Elvis Presley's guitarist, Scotty Moore. Scotty played a similar ES-295 on the first Sun Records recordings in Memphis, TN such as "That's All Right" and "Good Rocking Tonight". The signature floral pickguard adornment and the sharp Florentine cutaway are iconic images from early Elvis/Scotty performances and photographs.
When we first opened the original brown Lifton hardshell case with pink interior, it was amazing to see how clean this guitar is on the top. When we first open up any vintage Gibson guitar the first thing, we look at is the tuners. Seeing that they showed no signs of discoloration, we thought they may be replaced, and we were equally shocked to see the correct “PAT APPLD 2356766” was stamped on the inside before Kluson won the patent. The headstock has some dings and dents, typical of an instrument played and restrung countless times over the past 65+ years.
The neck shows minor checking throughout but is only “greening” behind the first position. At some point in the instrument's history clear “overspray” was applied to the back of the neck, assumed in an effort to stop the progression of the greening. The owner didn’t have a record of when it was done but blacklight testing seems to indicate it was early in the instrument’s life. This overspray was lightly wet-sanded and buffed to a smooth finish for playability. The neck is extremely comfortable with a first fret depth of .900” the thickens to just about 1” at the 10th fret and then 1.400” behind the twelfth where the heel has already begun in the carve. Action is low and consistent, currently measuring 5/64” on the low E at the 12th fret, to 1/16” at the high E. The nut is measuring just under 1 ¾” at 1.710”. The mahogany neck sports a dark rosewood fingerboard with no divots that still retains the original frets which have plenty of life in them.
There is some flaking around the binding showing the base layer of paint before the gold flakes were sprayed on which is really noticeable on the treble side near the 15th fret. You can see some examples around the edge of the guitar which is common since the nitrocellulose that was sprayed would shrink overtime exposing the base layer and wood. At the bottom of the guitar where the endpin is, the finish is cracked to the bass and treble side. The side/rims are crack free. Inside the body you can see the original sticker with the Serial #A17430.
The fully maple body still retains its original gold finish with a few hairline clearcoat cracks scattered throughout. This ES-295 features the 2 original cream covered P90s and knobs. The gold hardware has faded to a nice patina. There are 5 controls in total: individual volume and tone controls for each pickup and a 3-way pickup selector with an amber switch tip. Other key features include a trapeze tailpiece, a gold floral pickguard, parallelogram fingerboard inlays, and crown inlay on the headstock.
This instrument comes to us from its original owner and is one of the cleanest, original examples we have seen of this iconic big-bodied Gibson ES-295.
|Maple Top, Back, and Sides
|Gold - Nitrocellulose
|Original Hard Case