Flea market find- early 50s tele?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Charlodius, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    What a great find and thread! Congratulations! I'd give it to Dan and collaborate with him on what to do next. (I'd leave the refin and just get it in playing condition with a resto pg)
     
    Erwin and 2 Headed Goat like this.
  2. Spunky

    Spunky TDPRI Member

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    I think this is great and gives us all hope of such a find. Good luck to the OP. As well, these things do still happen. I scored a 1949 Gibson BR9 lap steel, case, tone bar and BR9 amp all very good condition. All for $40, Canadian dollars. Not the same level as this one but same vintage.
     
  3. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    Thank you all for the positive vibes!

    Has anyone heard of or worked with either Carson Hess or Joe Riggio?
    Both do some amazing refin work from what I can see on the web, and both names have been mentioned on FB as guys that do stellar work.

    I sent an email yesterday to vintage instruments in Philadelphia. Philly is probably the closest big city to have an appraisal, but I don’t know if they specialize enough to date this thing. In my mind, I’m convinced of the authenticity, just not the exact year. It took an awful lot of pinching myself as well as the expertise of some folks on here and a couple groups on FB. Still, good to get that in writing. I’m in no hurry to do anything drastic but I’m itching to get it up and playable. I have been setting up my own guitars for 30 years but don’t want to give this gal the first proper setup she’s had in maybe 57 years. If a screw is stripped I’d rather not be asking myself if it could have been avoided and if I’d had more common sense.
     
    bloomz and Mouth like this.
  4. Mouth

    Mouth Tele-Holic

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    Thinking on it for a while, if it makes incredible sounds, I might keep it incognito and make mighty sounds with it.

    Maybe put K-mart on the headstock to further the illusion it is something no one should want to steal.
     
    Charlodius likes this.
  5. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    Assuming it’s 52 or 53, does anyone know how many were made around that time? Has anyone estimated how many remain? These are both probably impossible to know.
     
  6. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Holic

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    Wow, congrats on this awesome score. This is why I go to estate/garage sales.

    As for how many were made, I believe it is somewhere in the 1200 per year range. I think there are better estimates out there, though, maybe in one of the Fender or Telecaster books (I'll check the 'Golden Years' one I have at home in a few hours).

    Edit to add that they produced less in the early days and increased as the company and demand got larger.
     
  7. Lost_N_Austin

    Lost_N_Austin Friend of Leo's

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    I haven't read all of the 300 plus posts but I intend to do so. But I have already formulated some ideas based on my own experience with finding an old 1966 Telecaster in a Pawnshop for $190.00. My trials, travels and tribulations have been chronicled in a TDPRI thread posted years ago on the guitar I nicknamed the "Mojo Mutt". Based on my experiences in subjecting my self to the slings and arrows of other posters here I will give you my opinion.

    I would like to see Dan Erlewine get a hold of the guitar and see what his advice would be so we Vintage Guitar readers can follow along as the mystery unfolds.

    In my opinion there are a ton of pristine old Telecasters and a bunch or refurbished old Telecasters but there is only "One" guitar like the one you have and if it were mine I would very carefully restore it to a playable guitar and leave it alone to tell the story (and the History) as completely as you possibly can.

    I'd like to see you create a Blog or a local Craigslist ad or even get your local tv or newspaper news team to launch a search for knowledge about the background on this guitar. Offer a reward even. Get your local repair shops and pawn shops and Guitar stores to post wanted posters to get more history.

    Bear in mind the news may be that it was stolen at one point or the previous owner is deceased.

    Anyway I will be following to see if anything shows up.

    I was lucky enough to have found a repair receipt on the Mojo Mutt and was able to trace the interesting history of the Mutt.

    I was criticized for not leaving my "Find" as I found it but I ended up trading my guitar for $1000.00 and two nice guitars, one of which was a really nice PRS. Total value of about $3,000.00. Plus I really enjoyed the ride.

    Lost_N_Austin
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  8. Volktar

    Volktar TDPRI Member

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    Yep, gonna have to bookmark this thread SK I can keep checking for updates!

    Killer find. Things like this make me hate living in a small town where junk guitars are on the wall for $400.
     
  9. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    Try living in New Zealand where this sort of thing never happens. Fender, Gibson etc just never came here in enough numbers so anything brand name is immediately presumed to have high value.

    Though I don't complain too much, it is a nice place :).
     
    Steve 78 and Charlodius like this.
  10. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    I’ve heard it’s beautiful there. And you never know regarding treasure hunting at junk stores. This had no decal. I’d bet there are some nice vintage MIJ floating around there, no?
     
    screefer likes this.
  11. johno99

    johno99 TDPRI Member

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    Fantastic find!!
    A lot of advice and thoughts on here as to where to go next.
    I am no expert, and just have a partscaster to plunk about on, but if it were me I would at the least get it authenticated so I could say with certainty I had a genuine 52, 54 or whatever tele...or not (perish the very thought!!)
    Beyond that I would take advice from the experts as to how far to go with restoration, but would try finding some knobs and a pickguard.
    Well, that is my pennyworth. Just enjoy the buzz!!!
     
  12. JamesVRoy

    JamesVRoy Tele-Holic

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    Sweet find Charlodius.
     
    Charlodius likes this.
  13. scotabilly

    scotabilly TDPRI Member

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    Hi, Charlodius. Just wanted to toss it out there that Lindy Fralin may be able to repair that pickup for you.
     
    Charlodius likes this.
  14. Treeface

    Treeface Tele-Meister

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    I remember around 2001 or 2002 there was a similar story on tdpri. A couple of guys found an old telecaster, probably not this old, at the thrift shop for 10 bucks. It had been spray-painted neon green and someone had shave the neck to make it thinner - basically like an Ibanez retrofit. It was a long thread where they painstakingly re-created bringing it back to life

    I wonder if a copy of the threat is still around.
     
    jimytheassassin likes this.
  15. Studio420Cornwall

    Studio420Cornwall TDPRI Member

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    DO NOT DO A THING until it's been evaluated by someone like George Gruhn in Nashville...seriously
     
    Charlodius likes this.
  16. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    How do you guys feel about a Dave Hinson appraisal/authentication?
     
  17. rockinstephen

    rockinstephen Tele-Meister

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    Well, if it was mine...If it checked out to be from the early '50's, I'd restore it back that way. Any original parts would be re-used. Anything else would be replaced with the best NOS parts available. Some of that work I'd do myself. I'd leave the butterscotch finish to an expert. The end result would be a beautiful Tele as close to original and new as possible...
     
  18. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    I’m having a hard time locating someone local to do that. I’m near Philadelphia. Gruhn said they would do it but recommend I bring it. That’s not practical right now given work and family responsibilities. Lark Street in Teaneck NJ outside of nyc said they could do it, but I’m not sure how much weight that carries. I sent a google drive folder of pics to Dave Hinson at Killer Vintage and he said it looks mostly complete but wanted to check it out on a bigger screen. Still, I don’t think he can authenticate by pictures alone. Can anyone recommend a legit and honest person between nyc and dc to authenticate and appraise this guitar? Vintage Philadelphia recommended Hinson because they don’t do electrics. I was going to contact Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island but they’ve closed for good.
     
  19. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    I do not know Dave Hinson, so a quick Google search showed that he is a dealer. While he could certainly do an appraisal on your guitar, from what I understand he is not a luthier.

    But he is located in St. Louis.

    Is there a reason you are not comfortable shipping the guitar to one of the suggested vintage guitar luthiers?? Personally I would trust Dan Erlewine, just make sure you ship the guitar insured.

    The only person I would trust in your neighborhood is Paul Reed Smith... but honestly I don't know if he would do an appraisal.
     
  20. JamesVRoy

    JamesVRoy Tele-Holic

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    You could try emailing Walter Carter at Carter vintage in Nashville and see if he can recommend anyone local to you. Explain that you're not comfortable shipping it and are unable to travel distances at this time for reasons stated. He and George all work in the same circles and should know who is reputable etc.. One thing though about George and possibly Walter, he has his mind on a potential sale.
     
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