Esquire Guitars

1951 Fender Esquire

Color: Butterscotch Blond, Rating: 9.25, Sold (ID# 00144)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113

Quite Simply The Best…

This fifty-three-year-old Butterscotch Blond beauty weighs just 7.00 lbs. and has a nut width of 1 5/8 inches and a scale length of 25 1/2 inches. Solid ash body and fretted maple neck with 21 frets and black dot position markers. Single "round" string tree. Headstock decal with "Fender" spaghetti logo in silver and "Esquire" in black below it. Individual "single-line" no-name Kluson Deluxe tuners with oval metal buttons. One single-coil pickup, angled in bridgeplate, with an output of 6.65k. Single-ply black bakelite pickguard with five screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus three-way "tone" switch with "barrel-like" tip, all on metal plate adjoining pickguard. Tall chrome knobs with less pronounced domes and heavy knurled sides. Telecaster/Esquire combined bridge/tailpiece with three brass saddles. One single-coil pickup, angled in bridgeplate, with an output of 7.00k.

The neck is dated in pencil "TG 3-5-51", and the body neck-pocket is dated in pencil "7-12-51". The lovely grain of the ash body shows very well through the Blond finish and this fifty-three-year-old gem is quite simply the best early Esquire we have ever seen with only absolute minimal marking to the body. Housed in its original Fender brown form-fit hard case with brown plush lining (9.0). Complete with its original "ashtray" bridge cover, original leather strap, and even the original lead. The price in 1951 was $149.50 for the guitar (a full $40.00 less than its Telecaster cousin) $39.50 for the case!

"Leo Fender's new solidbody was the instrument that we know now as the Fender Telecaster, effectively the world's first commercially successful solidbody electric guitar...The guitar was originally named the Fender Esquire and then the Fender Broadcaster, and it first went into production in 1950. It was a simple, effective instrument. It had a basic, single-cutaway, solid slab of ash for a body, with a screwed-on maple neck. Everything was geared to easy production. It had a slanted pickup mounted into a steel bridge-plate carrying three adjustable bridge-saddles, and the body was finished in a yellowish color known as blond. It was unadorned and like nothing else. It was ahead of its time (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of Fender, p. 10).

"After a false start the Esquire 1951, now with Fender's new adjustable truss-rod. It was offered in single-pickup format only, but otherwise was virtually identical to the two-pickup Telecaster. However, the Esquire's three-way selector functioned as a preset tone control or bypass switch, offering wide versatility from a one-pickup guitar. Perhaps surprisingly, the Esquire stayed in the line for 20 years" (Tony Bacon and Paul Day, The Fender Book, p. 10).

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