Hofner / Model 457/S/E2 Electro-Acoustic (Export) [President] / 1958 / Tobacco Sunburst / Guitar For Sale
Single Venetian (round) cutaway. This super rare 'Australian' export tobacco sunburst Hofner 457 is simply a more luxuriously adorned 'President' from the classical Selmer period and is similar to the one used by George Harrison in the early days of the Beatles. This fifty-three year old, single-cutaway sixteen inch-wide, three and a quarter inch deep archtop, weighs just 4.60 lbs. and has a nut width of just over 1 5/8 inches and a scale length of 25 1/2 inches. Two-piece laminated close-grain spruce top with nitrocellulose finish, two-piece highly-flamed maple back, and highly-flamed maple sides. Three-piece maple neck with two mahogany center strips and wonderful thick profile. The neck has no truss rod - these were only introduced in the early 1960's. Two-layer (mother-of-pearloid and black) neck heel onlay. Brazilian rosewood fretboard with original triple-layer (white/black/white) nut, 'zero' fret and 22 original jumbo nickel-silver frets and block shaped fretboard markers. The top and bottom of the body are multi-bound with five-layer white and black purfling. The f-holes are single-bound and the neck is triple-bound. Headstock with three-strip pattern of white mother-of-pearloid and tortoiseshell. Three-in-a row open-back strip tuners with white oval plastic buttons. The serial number "714" is stamped in blind on the top edge of the headstock. Shaped white mother-of-pearloid pickguard edged in black and with mounting bracket to treble edge of body and two securing pins, one to the treble side of neck and the other to the treble side of the bridge. Two original Hofner single-coil pickups with black bakelite cases on matching bases and outputs of 6.92k and 7.12k. Two volume controls plus three 'slider' switches, all on rectangular tortoiseshell panel on treble bout. The first 'slider' is a 'Rhythm/Solo' switch and the other two control 'Bass' and 'Treble'. White plastic with gold top Hofner 'teacup' control knobs with securing grub screws. Hofner black-dyed maple, footed, height-adjustable, compensated bridge with a slanted bone/plastic insert. Nickel-plated 'trapeze' escutcheon tailpiece secured to the bottom edge by one screw and two pins. The inside of the spruce top is marked in pencil "25. 8. 58". The "Hofner" logo is on a gold decal on the bass side of the spruce top. This incredibly rare guitar is near mint (9.25) condition with just some finish checking on the body and a few tiny surface marks on the sides. It has never had (nor required) a neck re-set, there are no cracks in the body apart from one in the cutaway side which we believe to be surface finish only. The neck has never been drilled for a strap button. On the back of the headstock is an original oval label " The Musical Centre / NICHOLSONS Pty. LTD / 416 George St. Sydney". Housed in the original and very rare 'export' blue & tan shaped case with five latches and cream plush lining (8.75). Inside the case is a rectangular label also from Nicholson's in Sydney.
What I would describe as the classical Selmer Period 'Export' Hofner; the deep bodied archtop with the early bar pick-ups. These were available in two finishes - "brunette" as this example (tobacco sunburst to the rest of the world!), or "blonde" (natural finish). Beautiful flamed maple veneers are evident on the back and sides of the guitar and the spruce top of the guitar is a laminate, rather than a solid top on the earlier models. The black pickups on this guitar were Hofner's first attempt at producing a built-in unit and were fitted to their guitars from c1957 to c1960. The very earliest units had wooden covers, but bakelite has been used here. The consul on this guitar has a rotary volume control and on-off slide switch for each pick-up, plus a solo/rhythm slide switch. The volumes interact with each other and do not correspond in location with the individual pickup switches. All in all a most impractical means of controlling, the electrics on the guitar! However, this eccentricity seems to match the overall charm of Hofner guitars, and I personally consider this type of consul to be the most desirable of all, just for that reason. Hofner black-dyed maple, footed, height-adjustable bridge compensated with a slanted bone/plastic insert.
Fretted Americana , USA
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