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

Unmasking of a Blackguard

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by JohnnyZ, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    Hi everyone. Twisted Kerle's "Original 51 Nocaster advice wanted" thread was the inspiration for me to bring my old Fender Telecaster in to be appraised. Lo and behold, I have a '53 Blackguard... hidden from view behind an aftermarket full-face guard. Everything else is completely original and has been in my dad's and then my possession since the late 1950's. My dad's godfather bought it new from Fender and toured with it. He taught my dad to play and gave him the guitar to play in his own band. I think the full-face guard was already on it when my dad got it, since he never mentioned swapping out the original pick guard. Other than one picture I posted in the "From beater to beauty, what brought you here?" thread, I've only shared these pictures with Nacho and one other TDPRI member so far. In the next few posts I'll introduce Blackguard #4392...

    [​IMG]
     

  2. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    When I had it appraised, we took the neck off to see what I had. Both the neck and body are from January 1953. The wiring is still the original setup with the treble filter in the forward position, neck pickup in the middle position and bridge pickup in the back position with cloth covered wires. The original pickups still tested out within spec.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016

  3. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    Here's the bridge with #4392 stamped on it

    [​IMG]

    and a closeup of the body. That's a hand-etched (from behind) pick guard with the flowers painted in from the back. Still not as valuable as the original black pick guard would have been!

    [​IMG]
     
    Vanzant and irie like this.

  4. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    It's still in its original case

    [​IMG]
     
    Twisted Kerle and tjh5207 like this.

  5. BopT

    BopT Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 6, 2011
    Chicago
    Looks pretty good with the garden of flowers! Nice.
     

  6. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    Thanks! Here are some closeups of the neck and back. Considering its age, it doesn't have that much wear. It has been mainly retired for the last 50 or so years!

    [​IMG]

    7th - 12th frets...

    [​IMG]

    and the back...

    [​IMG]
     
    2 Headed Goat, BorderRadio and irie like this.

  7. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    I had to get a look at what the full-face guard was hiding...

    [​IMG]

    Very light checking... you can certainly see where the original black pick guard went. Even the screws holding the new guard are the originals.

    [​IMG]
     
    2 Headed Goat, Vanzant, Iago and 3 others like this.

  8. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    That there looks like Country buckle rash, with the guitar hung right under the chin :D

    It's a beaut. Any plans to take the guard off? How is it fastened?

    EDIT: nevermind, our posts crossed. Gorgeous.
     

  9. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    I had to have a nice place to display it, so I bought a piece of maple and decorated it to look like a fretboard. A couple of string swings and:

    [​IMG]

    It's younger sibling stays up there, but the Tele gets to sleep in its case. I don't want to hear a crash in the middle of the night and wonder which one fell.
     
    phaedrus, irie, Blue Bill and 2 others like this.

  10. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    Here's a couple of pictures of my dad with the guitar along with his band in the late fifties or early sixties.

    [​IMG]
     

  11. elpico

    elpico Tele-Meister

    489
    Sep 14, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    Super cool. And what a unique personality it has among blackguards with that full guard.

    It's kept the body color much closer to the original color than most examples. Makes you realize these really were just wood colored guitars originally, not the hazy yellow/orange they paint on them today to look "vintage".
     
    vgallagher likes this.

  12. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    I thought I might get an original Bakelite guard from the time period to return the guitar to its original looks. There was a lead on one here in TDPRI, but $2500 was a bit much. For now, I'm thinking of getting a Callaham reproduction one. They match even small details like leaning it up against a 5" paint can while spraying lacquer on the front so that it gets the semi-circular mark in the back that the originals had.
     

  13. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    People pay all kinds of money to get new guitars relic'd, and I am happy as can be that mine looks newer than its actual age!
     
    Twisted Kerle likes this.

  14. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    $2500 for a used pickguard? Dayum. Wonder what you could get for those tuners?

    <ducking>
     
    boredguy6060 likes this.

  15. tjh5207

    tjh5207 TDPRI Member

    34
    Aug 22, 2013
    Nashville, TN

  16. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    I got that price from the "The Parting of A 51" thread. None of the original parts are coming off this guitar. Only the after-market guard might get replaced. And if it does, I'll mount the after-market guard on the wall to remember my dad (and to show where the Tele goes when it comes out of the case!)
     
    Twisted Kerle likes this.

  17. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    Best I can tell, the original 5 screws from the black pick guard were re-used to mount this new guard. They ended up putting new holes in the body for the new guard, four of which will be on display if I go back to an original sized guard.
     

  18. johnnyha

    johnnyha Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 18, 2013
    Austin, TX
    That is spectacular! So… the date on the neck is 53 and the body 55. And this is a 53? I'm trying to figure that out I don't know enough about Blackguards.

    OH never mind I misread the pocket that 3 looked kinds like a 5 to my feeble old eyes. Yeah that is a real beauty thanks for the photos and story.
     

  19. Twisted Kerle

    Twisted Kerle Tele-Meister

    223
    Feb 2, 2016
    Alaska
    Wow... Beautiful. I'm glad i could help inspire ya. That guitar is truly beautiful.
    Being the third owner is kinda cool huh... Grin
    You going to play it or store it?
     

  20. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ TDPRI Member

    71
    Feb 7, 2016
    Boston, MA, USA
    Yeah, the picture is hard to see, but in person it was definitely a 3. The neck was 1/21/53 and the body 1/27/53. The initials on the neck might be TG, which would be Tadeo Gomez. But they might also be TO. If only he knew that we would all be looking at his work 60+ years later, maybe he would have written a little neater!
     

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