1957 Fender Stratocaster Guitar

Value (2004) | $15,000 Retail$17,000 Retail

This was my father's guitar. He was a sign painter by profession, but he had a passion for music and he grew up in a family that had a lot of music in the home and he played many instruments. He always aspired to have an electric guitar from, I think, the time they were probably invented, and this was his pride and joy. He played mostly country-Western music and thoroughly enjoyed the guitar. And he died in 1980, and when my mother passed away in '86, then I got the guitar for safekeeping for my family. It's been sitting underneath my bed since 19... you know, '86, and I let my son play with it when he was young. And there was a tremolo bar on there and I think he somehow or other lost that along the way. Had no idea that it would, um, you know, someday be worth anything, so it's been held as a family treasure.

Okay. It's a Fender Stratocaster; it's made in 1957. I can tell that from several things that I'm going to show you. I'm going to pick up the guitar; we can start off with the back. It's a maple neck, which was made up until 1958, I believe, and this is what they call a skunk stripe. The other thing that lets you know that it's a '57 is that it's a two-tone sunburst. This finish, instead of being black to red to yellow, is black to yellow. It's a non laminated plate over the tremolo area on the back. I'm going to turn it around, and on the front of the guitar, you can see that the neck has a maple fingerboard. I took the neck off earlier, and inside of here there's a date of 8/57, and that matches with everything else that I saw on the guitar before I did this, so it made me feel comfortable in thinking it is that. This pick guard is right for the year. It's a non laminated white pick guard with screws that don't look like they've really ever been off. You would want to take the guitar completely apart to totally authenticate it, but all the parts, the colors, the patina of everything that I see looks right, looks real original, really nice. The tremolo bar, which would go in here, is replaceable. You can find that part. Has anyone given you any idea as far as the guitar's value?

Not at all. No, I ran across a magazine that told me I should probably be taking care of it, so that was all I did. The range in the magazine said, um, it could be as high as, like, $3,000, so, um, you know, I was just thinking that while it could be anywhere in that range, because I didn't research it and I don't know.

Right, electric guitars, there's a lot of things that can be changed about them. I have every reason to believe this is all original, really nice. I feel real comfortable in thinking that the value is significantly more than that. I would guess somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 to $17,000, and it's a nice thing.

Oh, my gosh. Oh, my dad is smiling somewhere. That's terrific.

Appraisal Details

Mass Street Music
Lawrence, KS
Appraised value (2004)
$15,000 Retail$17,000 Retail
St Paul, MN (June 26, 2004)

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