Les Paul Guitars

1952 Gibson Les Paul

Color: Mahogany with Gold Top, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 00669)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113

One of the Very First Les Pauls…

This totally original lightweight Les Paul Standard Gold Top weighs just 9.00 lbs. and has nice, fat nut width of just over 1 11/16 inches and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Solid mahogany body with a gold-finished solid carved maple top, one-piece mahogany neck with a medium to thick profile, and rosewood fretboard with 22 frets and inlaid pearl trapezoid (crown) position markers. The top of the guitar has single cream binding and the fretboard has single white binding. Headstock with inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo and with "Les Paul Model" silk-screened in gold. Two-layer (black on white) plastic truss-rod cover. Individual single-line "no-name" Kluson Deluxe tuners (stamped inside "2356766/PAT APPLD.") with single-ring tulip-shaped Keystone plastic buttons. Two hot P-90 pickups with cream plastic covers and outputs of 7.28k and 7.64k. Single-layer cream plastic pickguard. Four controls (two volume, two tone) on lower treble bout plus three-way pickup selector switch on upper bass bout. Tall gold plastic barrel-shaped "Speed" knobs. The potentiometers are stamped "615 0689" (ROC early fifties) and the two original capacitors are stamped "Grey Tiger Type GT 452 .02 MFD 400 VDC." Combination "wrap-under" trapeze bridge/tailpiece. This fifty-four-year-old "time-capsule" is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition. There is the bare minimum of belt buckle rash on the mahogany back, with only one small area of surface loss (measuring approximately 2 x 3/4 inch), some edgewear on the lower edge of the back of the guitar, a couple of small dings on the bottom edge of the guitar, some fine checking, and a small area of wear from the player's arm resulting in loss to the gold finish on the bass edge of the top of the guitar, a few very small areas of surface loss on the back of the neck due to playing wear. The frets are original and show a little bit of wear, but certainly have plenty of life left in them. Overall, this guitar is without a doubt one of the finest and most original examples that we have ever seen. As usual for a '52 Les Paul there is no serial number, but what is unusual about this particular example is the neck angle, which is just like a late '53 "stop-tail" and therefore makes this a really playable guitar -- truly unusual for a '52. Housed in its original Gibson brown four-latch hardshell case with maroon plush lining (8.00). Complete with the original receipt for $249.50 (including the case), dated "12/29/52," from Volkwein Brothers, Inc. Music and Musical Instruments, Pittsburgh, Pa.

"The first Gibson Les Paul solidbody electric guitar, known simply as the Les Paul Model then but now better known by its descriptive nickname 'gold-top', first went on sale during 1952" (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul, p. 15).

"The new Les Paul guitar was launched by Gibson in 1952, in the summer, priced at $210, which was about $20 more than Fender's Telecaster sold for at the time…Today, a gold-finish Les Paul model is nearly always called a gold-top thanks to its gold body face…The new gold-top's solid body cleverly combined a carved maple top bonded to a mahogany base, a sandwich that united the darker tonality of mahogany with the brighter sonic 'edge' of maple. Paul said that the gold colour of the original Les Paul model was his idea. 'Gold means rich,' he said, 'expensive, the best, superb'" (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul, pp. 20-21).

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