Bigsby Influenced Electric Solid-Body Guitars

1954 Whitaker Bigsby Influenced Electric Solid-Body

Color: Natural, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 01580)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113


A Mid Nineteen-Fifties Whitaker Electric Guitar - Heavily Influenced by Paul Bigsby


1954 Whitaker Bigsby Influenced Electric Solid-Body.


This mid-fifties Paul Bigsby influenced guitar weighs just 7.20 lbs., and features a neck through chambered birds-eye maple body with a two-piece birds-eye maple back, each side secured by ten slot-head screws. The top of the guitar has five, specifically shaped pieces of birds-eye walnut. These five pieces act as pickguard, pickup surround, bridge surround, tailpiece and bass-edge decoration. Each of these pieces is secured by three-to-eight slot-head screws. The birds-eye maple neck features the typical Bigsby-shaped headstock with six individual Grover open-back tuners with cloverleaf shaped metal buttons. The face of the headstock has a 1/8 inch veneer, the top of which is stained to match the five pieces on the body and has "WHITAKER" inlaid in mother-of-pearl with a diamond shape above and below. Aluminium string-tree covering all six strings and secured by two screws. Single-bound rosewood fretboard with a nut width of 1 5/8 inches, a scale length of 25 1/8 inches and a typical fifties thick neck profile. The fretboard has 20 medium-to-thin frets (the last three sloping away from the bass side) and inlaid mother-of-pearl 'Bigsby' style position markers of diamonds, circles and rectangles. One 'Gibson' syle single-coil pickup in the middle position with six individually adjustable pole-pieces and an output of 7.19k. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus a two-way 'push' switch which activates and deactivates the tone control. Dark brown plastic 'octagonal' control knobs. Height-adjustable aluminium pre-compensated bridge. Through body stringing. Overall this very unusual guitar is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition and more importantly it most certainly has a very unique sound. Housed in a fifties Gibson aligator softshell case.

This actual guitar is featured in 2000 Guitars - The Ultimate Collection pp. 16-17) as "1954 Bigsby Whitaker".

This guitar came from the world renowned collection of Paul Chinery. It was purchased by Chinery as an original mid-fifties Paul Bigsby guitar. Since that time it has been written about by Bigsby guitar expert Deke Dickerson… here is an extract from his 'The Bigsby Files'

"Bigsby -influenced guitar by Whitaker, 1950s.
This thing floated around for a while and was bought by the Chinery Collection. Unfortunately, this homely guitar was featured in several magazines as a real Bigsby guitar. Here's a hint: if the headstock says Whitaker, it's probably a Whitaker, not a Bigsby. There's no doubting where the influence came from though, with it's birdseye maple top and contrasting walnut pickguard, and six-on-a-side headstock." (Deke Dickerson. The Bigsby Files)

Deke Dickerson, American singer, songwriter and guitarist writes a regular column in Guitar Player magazine and feature articles in Vintage Guitar magazine and The Fretboard Journal. He also organizes an annual "Guitar Geek Festival" held in Anaheim, California, every January, during the NAMM Show.

ps. Original Bigsby guitars from the 1950-1956 period are listed in the latest 2015 edition of the Official Vintage Guitar Price guide at $75,000 to $265,000…

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