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Gibson / ES-295 / 1953 / Original Gold / Guitar For Sale

Les Paul claimed to have devised the ES-295 following a visit to Wood Hospital, Milwaukee where he and Mary Ford were on tour entertaining the troops. There they met a patient, Dean Parker, to whom Les claimed he could get any guitar he wanted. Dean asked for a 'gold archtop'. The doctor later confided to them that Dean didn't have long to live, so a call was made to Ted McCarthy asking for "a guitar right now – take an ES-175 and paint it gold". Gibson's log does show a gold ES-175 leaving the factory on the 4th December of 1951 though unfortunately Dean never lived to see it.

Introduced in May of 1952 as an upmarket ES-175, there were a few slight differences in design. Aside from the gold finish and twin pickups (the 175 didn't feature these until 1953), the ES-295 is constructed entirely from maple laminate unlike the 175 that has laminated mahogany back and sides. The ES-295 utilizes the wrap-over trapeze tailpiece whilst the 175 has a separate rosewood bridge and tailpiece. 

For an instrument of 70 years of age, the original gold finish has survived remarkably well. There is the expected checking and it has faded. The front and back still retain some of the opulent gleam you'd associate with a Gibson archtop but with that added cool of 65 plus years of relicing. There are patches where it has worn through, exposing a second layer of gold paint. This is particularly evident on the back.

The neck has had most of its finish from the back gone through play wear, this always being the most vulnerable spot on an all gold Gibson, be it an ES-295 or a Les Paul. The fretboard looks good with little wear, and the frets have plenty of life left in them. The headstock still retains its original finish and is of course unbroken.

The plastics and hardware are in great shape. The gold plating has worn a little on the trapeze tailpiece but there is no other corrosion. The tuners are non original but certainly look the part.

Electrics, pickups and pots are all original.

The guitar comes with a period correct Brown hardshell case made by Lifton.

Sonically, as with the ES-225 which has a similar tailpiece arrangement, this guitar has much more sustain than you'd expect and a different acoustic tone to that of an ES-175. The pickups as you'd expect are wonderfully earthy, evoking those classic Sun Records tones, though its quite happy down other musical avenues. 

An iconic instrument with a great story to tell. Grab it before it gets away…

ATB Guitars, UK  

Contact name:
Mike Long
Vintage Gibson, Fender and Martin from 1940's-1970's
Opening hours:
24 hours

Hello we’re ATB Guitars.

We are one of Europes leading sellers of vintage and rare guitars. We only sell vintage Gibson and Fender electric guitars from 1950 until 1975 and have an extensive inventory to browse in our bricks and mortar store in Cheltenham, UK or in our online web store.

Payment and p/x:

All prices are in UK GBP £ Sterling. Payment can be made by Paypal, bank transfer, cash, or money order cashiers cheque etc. 

Should you not be absolutely delighted with your purchase you may return it to Cheltenham, at your own expense, within 7 days from the date of delivery for a full refund. The item must not have been altered or tampered with in any way, and it must arrive in the same condition as it left us.

Postage and shipping:

We ship within the UK by Royal Mail Recorded (small items under 2Kg), TNT or UPS and Worldwide by Royal Mail Airmail Signed For (small under 2Kg) Parcelforce, UPS or FedEx. All shipping prices include expert packing, cartons and packing materials but not insurance which is typically around 2% of items value. Currently approx shipping rates for a single guitar are as follows:

UK excluding Northern Ireland and Highlands £29
Most of mainland Europe £49
U.S.A. £129
Asia £149 - £190
Rest of World including S. America £149 - £275


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