1953 Fender Telecaster Guitar
Well, I had a friend of mine years ago, about 1962, that somehow he got in financial trouble. He sold it to my brother for $40. Guitar and case, and a few... about ten years later, I traded my brother a guitar he had as a young man, and I gave him that guitar and he gave me this one. And I've had it ever since.
Well, these guitars came out from the Fender Company. They were the brainchild of Leo Fender, who everyone in guitars knows that he was one of the inventors of the solid-body electric guitar. This particular model is called the Telecaster. And they were introduced about 1952, and immediately became very popular with country western musicians and continued all the way on through the rock era with rock and blues artists using them. This has always been the main guitar of people like Bruce Springsteen and a lot of stars. The first thing we notice about it is that it's largely untouched and unaltered, which is wonderful. The body is finished with what we call the butterscotch finish. And it's a kind of a transparent varnish over ash wood. And the beauty of this guitar is that it's never been repainted. It's just like any other antique-- the first thing we look at is the finish and the surface. Never been altered, it's got a beautiful patina. As we go up the neck, we can see that it has had quite a bit of playing, especially in these upper positions where the fingers have worn right through the varnish, right through the wood, and we've got all these pits in it. We've got the insignia, which is the earliest type of insignia used on Fender guitars. This is called the string retainer here. It's the round type. This is one of the identifying marks of an old Fender guitar. Moving down, we come to the pickguard. And before 1954, they used just a single layer of black plastic. This was before they got a little fancier with laminates and other things, multilayer designs. This is just the plain black pickguard. As we take off the pickup cover here, it's wonderful that you still have this, because most people just take it off and use it as an ashtray or something else. But this uncovers some more clues about its age. We've got a pickup where the pole pieces are just even with the top of the pickup itself. They don't protrude at all. We've got bridge pieces that are solid brass, very heavy and very wonderful sustaining power from those solid heavy brass pieces. The only thing that's not original on the piece is this switch here. And that's mainly because it falls off easily. Your brother bought it for $40. In today's market something this rare and untouched would be in about the $8,000 to $10,000 range.
Oh, that's very good.
It's highly sought after by musicians. Highly sought after.
That's wonderful. My daughter will be happy. She's going to inherit it.
Oh, well, thanks for coming to the ROADSHOW today. It was a pleasure to see such a great instrument.
Well, thanks for having me on.
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Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
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Summer Night Concerts
Relax with four amazing concerts from the Vienna Philharmonic and special guests.