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53' "Esquire" help!!

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by fenderguy813, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. fenderguy813

    fenderguy813 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    26
    31
    Jan 8, 2018
    country
    20180107_014054.jpg 20180107_014045.jpg 20180107_013818.jpg 20180107_014103.jpg Hi everyone, first off im new to this forum looking for help. I have a 1953 fender esquire and i believe its pretty ruined but still could have some value. Its marked on the neck pocket on the body Tad 5-1-53 and the neck itself i cant make out. The reason i say ruined is because my grandfathers dad put a varnish over the whole thing back in the 50s or 60s. He was smart enough to not cover the fender logo or the body date and initials but did cover the date on the neck and also chizzled, and drilled a new hole for a humbucker at the neck position. Will add photos just not sure if anybody here would know about this? I do have all original parts except the pickguard because he cut it to make a spot for the pickup and that pickguard is long gone.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
    2 Headed Goat likes this.

  2. fenderguy813

    fenderguy813 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    26
    31
    Jan 8, 2018
    country
    I basically wanted to know it i could safely refinish this guitar without losing value. Well i know it will but its value has already been destroyed by the varnish
     

  3. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 21, 2012
    england
    Look forward to seeing some pics of this
     

  4. Danman

    Danman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    55
    230
    May 12, 2012
    Amsterdam,The Netherlands
    Basically the value of a guitar is 50% after it has been refinished.
    But it's hard to say how much the varnish devalued it. Perhaps it's worth it to try to first let a specialist carefully remove the varnish. The original lacquer might be fine under there.
    Posting pictures might help in determining this. But hands on is always better.
    I bought a 71 Tele years ago. It had been refinished metallic blue but I carefully sanded it away and the original lacquer was under there. Now it just is a well used but original Tele!
     
    ianstrike likes this.

  5. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    662
    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands
    It looks like the original lacquer on the body was removed (stripped) before the varnish was put on. A pity because varnish over an original finish can be removed.
     
    cloink50 likes this.

  6. fenderguy813

    fenderguy813 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    26
    31
    Jan 8, 2018
    country
    Yeah im pretty sure it has because above the pickup is the original color and finish and the is a height difference there so i believe he sanded it and then varnished it.
     

  7. Danman

    Danman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    55
    230
    May 12, 2012
    Amsterdam,The Netherlands
    Yes, unfortunately this looks like varnish over wood.... Disregard my first post. The images weren't posted yet.... :cool:

    But that does mean that refinishing it will make it look much nicer and will not affect the value!
     
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  8. petebrown

    petebrown Tele-Meister

    211
    Sep 22, 2003
    No. Cal.
    I'd say a good restoration will add value- in that shape it's pretty trashed, could be restored well.
     
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  9. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    693
    Dec 24, 2016
    Boulder, WY
    It's ruined. Uh, will you take $500?
     
    StrangerNY likes this.

  10. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    662
    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands
    i am not sure if stripping, sanding and refinishing again will add any value. as somebody that might actually pay 10k for a guitar like that, to me it surely would NOT.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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  11. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

    Age:
    70
    599
    Feb 4, 2016
    sw US
    As some posters have noted, some value has been lost, but some value can be restored! One poster has hinted, he might pay $10,000, as is. We should wait and see what other posters will say.

    My humble opinion is, that's a beauty . . . love Esquires! They're kinda rare and we'd love to see more pics, especially the bridge and pickup, end of neck. etc, etc.

    And, welcome to the forum! You came to the right place! :cool: :)
     
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  12. bender66

    bender66 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    Even in that state it's still a beaut. The potential is there.

    I'll second... more pics!
     
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  13. chomps

    chomps TDPRI Member

    26
    Sep 8, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Certainly not ruined, but devalued. $10,000 seems high. People pay good money for parts but I hate to seem em parted out (yes, Leo designed the parts to be interchangeable but who wants to break up a good marriage!). Check the body thickness and neck thickness at various places with calipers. We can then see how much was sanded down. Probably not much, as the original finish is still in the middle. This could make a cool Keef Macawber. What is grandpa through a PAF in there? More pics!
     
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  14. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2012
    Colombes France
    Hello, welcome to the forum. With a good professional refin and a good restoration, this will make a fantastic player blackguard. If there is the original pickup under this ash tray, the Esquire will be (kinda) complete !
     
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  15. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

    10k is definitely way too high. The most recent guitar show in Texas had several intact blackguards and none sold. They were between 30-40k range. My friend returned with the one he had brought there back to Minnesota and sold it for 30K and his was the cleanest of the bunch. I would say yours is approximately worth 20% of that given the severe structural changes (wood chiseled out, etc.). You said the neck had been varnished over except the decal. IMO you can part it out and make more money on it than keeping it intact or refinish/restore the color and play it. Remember if you're restoring it to sell you're competing against ones that are in far better condition. Restore it and keep it for yourself and maybe the market will be better for something with as many modifications.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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  16. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jul 2, 2015
    PNW USA
    Fenderguy, ignore the lowballers... I'll give you $550! :rolleyes:
     

  17. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

    With original hard shell case or a gig bag?
     
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  18. warrent

    warrent Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    367
    Sep 15, 2009
    toronto
    It all depends on what you want to do with the guitar. If you have no money in the guitar and it was given to you selling it as is will give you the most money. If you want to play it and would like it to look as original as it could be you can restore it and if done right it will be worth more than it is currently. However that will cost quite a bit of money and once you deduct that cost from the new value you won't be better off financially.
    If it were mine I'd restore it, remove the humbucker and play it. The other questions you have to answer is what else has been changed on the guitar pots, switches, bridge? What is the humbucker if its an old PAF Gibson that would have value as well.

    The short answer though is the guitar won't be worth any less if it has been restored.

    check out this guy's instagram I think his refin's start out at 650 for the body

    https://www.instagram.com/cf.restorations/?hl=en

    https://www.facebook.com/cf.restorations/

    No recommendation but it will give you an idea of what's possible
     
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  19. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    Has to be a pretty rare guitar. If I owned it free and clear I would have a highly qualified luthier restore it.
     
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  20. Chick-N-Picker

    Chick-N-Picker Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    24
    Apr 26, 2015
    North Carolina
    If it was mine i would get me a tele neck pick up. Get me a period correct white or black guard.

    Then I would refinish it in either period correct BSB (blonde) or white blonde (still technically just blonde).

    Then this might be the one time II'd like a light finish relic just to help the finish match everything a little quicker than it taking many years.

    This is all if it was mine. Dang just thinking about makes me want to do it.
     
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