Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Possible 1953 Esquire, seeking info

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by pulpadded, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 21, 2016
    Rhode Island
    Fixed it for ya

  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Well, I was a musician drug addict but got clean in 1998.
    I lost all my music gear, mostly to pawn shops, hoping I would get clean and get it all back.
    Indeed, an addict sees dollar value in anything and everything.
    One morning on my way to score I got hit by a car and tried to leverage some cash out of my injury. Got $20 which meant another half day before being sick again.

    So the only reason an addict would leave a $10,000 guitar (or even a $50 guitar with a $100 pickup), at someones house, would be if it meant too much to them to lose, so they left it and some family photos with a trusted friend.
    Stolen goods left with a family?
    Most likely stolen goods would be sold for drugs. Can't say that for certain though. If the addict didn't know the actual value, there would be even less reason to stash it with someone they trusted. Almost any guitar can be pawned for $20-$100.
    An addict at the point where they have no home to stash their stuff, generally holds the next fix above all other things, with a diminishingly small group of exceptions. This guitar was seemingly in that group.

    My initial feeling about the guitar, the new pickup yet unmolested wiring, the Junkie hero sticker, and the odd circumstances of the $10k guitar being given away for free; was that this was yet another vignette of an addicts loss.

    Personally I would not be comfortable keeping this guitar unless I did a good search for the family of the presumably dead or possibly incarcerated addict, who may have been a good person with loving family that "had the gene" or "fell in with the wrong (musician) crowd".
    I would not assume that they were not musically inclined just because they didn't play guitar for the folks with whom they left it for safe keeping, along with pictures not including playing the guitar.
    Near the end when I couldn't keep a home for myself I wasn't playing much music. In 12 Step recovery I find that this exact story of desperation and loss repeats over and over and over.

    For the last owner with whom the addict left his guitar, to give away a $10,000 guitar, even that suggests some unspoken history?
    IDK it just feels creepy.
    Sorry to ask hard questions...
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
    screamin eagle, Jackadder and Lochry like this.

  3. pulpadded

    pulpadded TDPRI Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    The friend that gave it to me had no idea what it was. I told him it seemed like a Japanese copy because it was accurate to Fender but not a Fender. He said "aren't Fenders pretty common?" I said yeah, but it depends on the model, they can be $200 or several thousand. I haven't told him what it is because I don't want to give him inaccurate info. We are moving in to a house and doing some repairs. The sale would go to redoing the house with him. It seems fair.

    If there are any specific photos anyone wants, I will take them in the morning with a better camera.

  4. cjp60

    cjp60 TDPRI Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    Chandler, Arizona
    It may have been asked already or mentioned but what's the case look like?
    Great find by the way!!

  5. BrandonIke

    BrandonIke Tele-Meister

    Sep 29, 2016
    Philadelphia, PA

    Let's get some full shots of it! I love these kinds of threads

  6. bobbydevito

    bobbydevito TDPRI Member

    Apr 9, 2017
    Chicago IL
    wow, that looks pretty darn real to me. i personally wouldn't go more than 5k on a guitar like that, but it's possible someone else would pay more, especially someone like a dealer/refinisher who would rehab the guitar and put it back out on the market for bigger $$$

    the only vintage Tele I have found for cheap was a $150 '68 Tele a few years back, it had been refinned and had a humbucker route in neck, etc. but i have never scored a 50s in the wild.

    however, back in the early 90s in the Tampa area, there was an older lady who advertised in the paper and sold a matching pair - '54 blonde hard tail strat and '55 blonde Tele. I borrowed money from every family member and friend possible, but several big vintage dealers got wind of the sale, and I missed them. NEVER seen those guitars again. and that '54 blonde strat is one of the rarest guitars in the world.....
    telemnemonics likes this.

  7. pulpadded

    pulpadded TDPRI Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    More photos. I took some specifically of the neck, frets, and the bridge cut. I removed a sticker and there was a set of initials engraved.
    CharlotteTele likes this.

  8. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Tele-Meister

    Apr 2, 2016
    Man, I really want to see this guitar, but the links don't seem to work on an iPad. I even have the imgur app. I could see a couple of them from the original posts, but those don't work now either. I guess I'll have to fire up the dinosaur computer and hope it doesn't crash, lol.

  9. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    I would give that thing a good setup and play it exactly as it is. My suspicion is it's real, but I wonder if you could get anywhere near what it's worth due to the stickers and the refinish. Still, what a find! Once in a lifetime!

  10. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

    ...and the belly cut.

  11. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands
    Great Find indeed. Just as lovely as the house in the background! If you want to we can have a closer look at what is original and what not.

  12. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    You are in DC so maybe take it to action music in falls church-they might be able to offer some insights into it
    OlRedNeckHippy likes this.

  13. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Holic

    Aug 31, 2013
    Central Florida
    It's a great find. I'd feel torn, though, about selling something like this that belonged to someone else that was given to me by an old friend of that owner.

  14. pulpadded

    pulpadded TDPRI Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    I had spoke to Action and they said that they couldn't give me a specific appraisal because of the value, they aren't going to put their reputation at risk for $65, and suggested I call Gruhn, who said the same. I am a bit confused how a business can call themselves appraisers if they aren't comfortable doing that.

  15. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    Have you tried Atomic in Beltsville? Those guys see a lot of guitars.

  16. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

    Feb 9, 2009
    London, England
    It would be interesting to call Gruhn again to confirm if they really meant they wouldn't do an appraisal at all or if they just meant they wouldn't do one from photos.

  17. pulpadded

    pulpadded TDPRI Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Atomic doesn't tend to mess with guitars above a mid price value, and usually not vintage. The most expensive guitar I have seen there was around 2k.

    Gruhn said I could pay them for the appraisal but they aren't going to give me a definite answer, more of an idea.

    Someone asked about the case. It doesn't have a case.

  18. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Can something like this even be accurately appraised, down to a dollar amount? I'd think the main benefit of taking it into Gruhn's (or somewhere similar) would be to establish a good provenance and authenticity.
    Flakey likes this.

  19. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    Maybe I missed it, but what is your true desire for this guitar? I thought I read that you'd rather play something cheaper so as to not damage it, but what is your true desire?

    Do you want to keep it out of collectors hands, but still want to sell?

    Do you want to get it appraised and maximize it's selling potential in current state?

    Do you want to get it appraised and maximize it's selling potential by restoring it after said appraisal?

    Do you want to consider keeping it?

    It's obvious by the tone and direction of this thread as well as the comments made by a couple of reputable shops that this one either has question marks or is such a state that original value is no longer relevant.

    If it is in fact real (I'm not expert in authenticity, but it seems legit to me), it at least has one thing that others cannot have, old Fender wood. That wood is considered special. Current state, or restored state that wood is still capable of making a guitar sound really good.

    Figure out what direction YOU want to go in. In any of those directions there will be hands full of cash ready and willing.

    You don't need to hear another "If it was me"...but, I'd keep it. But I also would have given some money for it. Even if just a few hundred dollars, at least I would know that I bought it.
    Flakey likes this.

  20. badfish_lewis

    badfish_lewis Tele-Meister

    Jun 26, 2014
    This is a great thread please keep it going, love a good mystery guitar :D

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