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Gibson / Hummingdove / 1963 / Sunburst / Guitar For Sale

1963 Gibson Hummingdove anyone?

Gibson’s first foray into square shouldered flattop acoustics came in the form of the Hummingbird in 1960, vaunted in the catalogue as “A fabulous new acoustical guitar—one of the finest ever made for voice accompaniment. The sound is big, and round, and full with the deep rumbly bass so prized by guitar players.” . The size, shape and X braced design gave the guitar a warm, rich tone that complemented the voice. An almost instant success, the guitar became popular with artists such as Gram Parsons, Jimmy Page, John McLaughlin and Keith Richards and is heard on countless records. 

But hold on, this is a Hummingdove, what gives? The story goes that in 1962/3 the Hummingbird’s popularity was such that Gibson struggled to keep up with demand. Released in 1962 and using the same design and construction methods but this time with Maple back and sides, the Dove was not quite as popular so some of these guitars were pulled off the production line and fitted with a Hummingbird pickguard and bridge and sent out as Hummingbirds. this practice only happened in 1962/3 making these quite a rare bird indeed…

This is a great example. Its undoubtedly been well played as the top seems to attest but hasn’t faded and the cherry hue of the burst is still incredibly vibrant. This goes for the back and sides too where the cherry really brings out the subtle undulations of the maple. There is some wonderfully checking all over too, adding to the character. 

The neck is in good shape too with no real signs of wear which is the same on the fretboard. The original frets have some life left in them and don’t show signs of excessive wear. The headstock has sustained a little damage. There is a chip missing at the back near the G tuner. Luckily this has only affected the back and not damaged the facia. The tuners are correct and though some of the buttons have shrivelled they still work well and don’t show any sign of further degradation.

The saddle has been replaced at some stage with a bone type saddle that does a great deal for the tone and we think the bridge pins may be later.

The guitar comes with its correct Lifton case, with the Lifton logo intact inside the case.

The 25.5” scale of this guitar gives it a precsenece that can be lacking in other Gibson acoustics with the 24.5” scale length. The extra tension helps chords ring out and gives the guitar a fantastic dynamic range that reacts well to either a light touch or a heavier hand. There is no doubt as to why these were so poplar with a wide range of musicians.

A rare bird indeed, this would make an excellent addition to any collection.

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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