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1959 Telecaster Body Authentication Help needed

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by LBUCKINGHAM, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. LBUCKINGHAM

    LBUCKINGHAM TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    10
    Sep 14, 2017
    California
    Hello everyone, I need help verifying this 59' toploader body I bought. It had been refinished in Ocean turquoise once in its life then now stripped to natural. Also assuming it was blonde before ocean turquoise. Is the grain right? most teles ive seen from this era have a more varying wood grain pattern than this one. Also I cant tell what type of wood it is, i'm guessing alder. It is definitely a players guitar and i am fully aware. If any of you can help with this, id greatly appreciate it!

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    Thanks,
    Mason M.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017

  2. jazzmaster90150

    jazzmaster90150 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    27
    35
    Aug 6, 2017
    NYC
    My vision isn't the best but it seems like it has an L series serial number. Either the plate isn't original to the body or it's not a 59. However top loaders were only made in 59 if I recall correctly. Therefore my guess is that this body is either not a real one or the serial plate isn't original to this body. In both case, it doesn't smell good if you know what I mean.
     
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  3. jazzmaster90150

    jazzmaster90150 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    27
    35
    Aug 6, 2017
    NYC
    The wiring isn't period correct as well.
     
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  4. jazzmaster90150

    jazzmaster90150 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    27
    35
    Aug 6, 2017
    NYC
    Three ply guard isn't original for a top loader. What's original on this guitar? That's a good question.
     
    LBUCKINGHAM likes this.

  5. LBUCKINGHAM

    LBUCKINGHAM TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    10
    Sep 14, 2017
    California
    Should've clarified sorry, im only asking in terms of the block of wood itself haha. The Neckplate is not original. Neither is the pickguard. Is the wiring from a different year or is it just that the wiring has been changed but the pots, switch etc. are genuine? There is a story to this piece. As put by the reputable vintage store i bought it from: "Welcome to today's episode of guitar CSI!
    It took a bit of detective work, but connect the dots and you get a pretty interesting story..... '59 Telecaster(or Esquire?) gets sent back to Fender in 1965 - why?...... we don't know but speculate that the finish on neck & body are well worn.....it gets refinished in Ocean Turquoise Metallic(signed "Charlie" in the neck pocket and body coded for tracking through the Fender factory) and is given a new maple neck......but wait - all Fender's had rosewood fingerboards in '65, so this maple neck was a special order and they probably just threw the original neck in the trash rather than refinish it!
    Why & when did the body get stripped to natural again? What happened to the original pickups and bridge? we just don't know......
    So, now we have a project...... '59 toploader body with original control plate, pots and switch, '65 special order maple cap neck("Telecaster or Esquire" part of the decal has been scratched away, and there's a good amount of fret wear), with single line Klusons and era correct serial# plate, unknown('65?) vintage pickguard and neck p/u.
    You can write the next chapter for this story......."
     

  6. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    No nail holes visible for the paddle pop paint method. It's alder and the only ash guitars post '56 were blonde or Natural so it was some other colour possibly white (which aged into a custard/butterscotch colour).

    Some more and better pictures, including back of control plate would be good. A whole of top photo would be good.

    A '59 would have cloth covered wiring and not ceramic disk caps. Looks like a treble bleeds been added later. That could have been redone at time of refin. Neck? Maple necks were always optional even when Rosewood caps came in, but 59 the should have had some old skunk stripes left.

    That look like a 70's guard to me. You should touch base with the guy with the '73.

    Pull the switch tip - if you can read 'Dakaware' underneath it's a good sign. I see one cloth wire there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
    LBUCKINGHAM likes this.

  7. LBUCKINGHAM

    LBUCKINGHAM TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    10
    Sep 14, 2017
    California
    I plan on restoring this guitar with original parts as best i can, gonna be difficult but an adventure nonetheless lol. The neck is a 3AUG65B Maple cap neck referenced in the guitar's story. Which would coincide with the neckplate being L series '64/'65. Im fairly knowledgable in my vintage fenders but more strats than teles. Like how the strats have the pin holes(to stay put in the jig for the employee to work on it) on the back that were filled with dowels. I'm just trying to look for identifying marks on the body but unfortunately its proving to be difficult to say the least. Thank you for your help so far! Great information. Also this guitar is on its way to me at the moment so these are all the pictures I have to work with for now, more to come. Also @Dacious it will say "DAKAWARE" on the bottom of the switchtip itself? this is a good sign for a '59 year? ALSO was alder being used on '59 teles? I'm planning on restoring the finish professionally to the classic blonde, but ash was used for see through blonde finishes strictly?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017

  8. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    images (22).jpg
    Like these.

    There should be 3 nailholes which may have been filled for the respray. They painted the front holding the body on a paddlepop bolted to the neck then sat the body on the nails driven into the body on a lazy Susan to paint the back. I think I can see the one by the neck bout filled with putty. The third was usually in the control plate route, in the side wall at an angle.

    broadnai.jpg

    http://www.guitarhq.com/fenderc.html
     
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  9. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    633
    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands
    Can you find the two doweled holes on the back of the body? Those should be there. The wood is indeed not ash and I thought in 1959/1960 the only alder telecaster bodies were those with binding but I am not sure about that. I also don't see a router hump. Might be sanded or milled off but that would worry me. Also verify that the nail holes are visible. I don't see any yet. I would be inclined to think that it is not original. No idea what it is.

    Very nice neck though!
     
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  10. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2012
    Colombes France

    Look again at the photo of the back, the dowels are visible.
     
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  11. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

    201
    Mar 24, 2003
    (Age: 54) Toronto
    Hi guys,

    I thought it might be helpful to quote page 56 from the Telecaster book regarding 1958 and 1959 Teles that were strictly toploaders. (didn't have holes through the body for guitar strings)

    It says that late 50's toploaders usually did not have nail holes.

    I don't know if it's true, but that's what was written. (Fwiw) ;)
     
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  12. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    633
    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands
    Yeah now that you mention it I do see two dark spots. Still no router hump and an alder body..
     
    LBUCKINGHAM likes this.

  13. LBUCKINGHAM

    LBUCKINGHAM TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    10
    Sep 14, 2017
    California
    Just spoke to the seller on the phone and he gave me a few nuggets of information. He is very knowledgable and has a very good friend who worked in the fender custom shop and is now retired. But he actually came in and they figured out the story and authenticity together. It says "CHARLIE" in the neck pocket because that was the guy in 1965 working on refinishes in the fender factory, so that checks out. Its a way of coding/marking the body for tracking and identification. Pots, switch and output jack are indeed 1959 and functioning, neck pickup and pickguard unknown. However wiring/connecting wires and maybe caps have been swapped over the years. This guitar was originally a custom color as these were the only alder bodied, toploaders in 1959(would explain the ocean turquoise choice in color factory refin in 1965). They both have been doing this for many many years and have owned several golden era teles and are fender connoisseurs. Kinda bummed(just barely) cause i wanted to refinish it in that classic blonde with single layer whiteguard, but alder bodies were custom colors so it wouldn't feel right to do and wouldn't be appropriate. I have no idea what custom color to get from that time now. Dakota red is my favorite custom color but i like that with rosewood fretboard guitars, black is too plain. Maybe ocean turquoise relic or shell pink relic, mmm. Oh sorry. jk haha but seriously thank you guys so much for all your help, continued help. I do see the two dowels down the center of the back of the body and with the switch tip and everybody else help i had a great list of questions to ask him and he went into depth for each one without hesitation and also answered many before I even asked them, seemed like he thoroughly enjoyed nerding out of this old stuff. How many piece body is this and how many piece body's did fender do during this time does anyone know?
     

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