Questions about a 1953 or 54 Telecaster

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by knavel, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. knavel

    knavel TDPRI Member

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    New guy here, but old timer elsewhere in guitar forumdom.

    This is a Telecaster that's been in the family for some time, s/n 27xx.

    There are two things I can't square about it and I am hoping someone here might have some info.

    1) Is there any significance that the body dates preceed the neck date by a year?

    Body dates are (1) "EM 5-28-53" (neck cavity) and "Gloria 6/3/53" (electronics cavity)
    Neck date is either "T - 6 -4-54" or "T- G -4-54". It looks like perhaps the latter.

    It seems a long time for a guitar to sit in the factory waiting for a neck. Maybe it was sent back early on?

    2) On the base of the underside of the neck, there is an engraving that looks like it says "PR 460". I can't find any info as to what this refers to.

    Thanks for any info you can provide.
     

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  2. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

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    TG means Tadeo Gomez, worker in the Fender Factory and very famous for the quality of his necks. I doubt a body could have waited one year to get its neck in such a small factory with an early production. Neck seems to me to have been changed one year after the guitar has been done. Back to Leo Fender initial idea, guitar were designed to be easily serviced and neck to be changed for any reason (flaw, break, refret, etc…). So maybe there was something wrong with the first one (or the buyer didn't like the shape) and factory could easily have changed it one year after (I wish I could do so with mine and get the same as yours ;).
     
  3. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    How about showing us a few full-on pics of that glorious, old Telecaster? : )
     
  4. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Never seen one with that much time between an original body and neck. Additional pictures might help--of the rest of the guitar.
     
  5. knavel

    knavel TDPRI Member

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    This guitar came from the original owner who played for about 5 minutes. I don't think she would have sent the guitar back for a new neck--simply because I doubt she would have been that discerning. Possibly the shop she got it from in Michigan.

    But...the Deluxe amp that she bought with it, and which we also have, is dated May 1953, so who knows.

    I am bumping this because I am surprised no one would have anything to say about the "PR 460" etched into the underside of the neck. I ask because this guitar looks to be going up for sale and I'd like to be able to explain that.

    Here is a pic of the Deluxe and the guitar.
     

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  6. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would consult Terry O'Riley known as TerryOz on this forum.
    He is a world authority on most things vintage and has a store
    in Adelaide , South Australia. He will probably ask for more information.
    He is regarded by many, worldwide, as an expert on this type and era of guitar.
    Email him through this forum or sales@twangcentral.com.au.
    By the way that guitar and amp. if genuine, and I believe they are, would sell for several thousands of $$ EACH here in Australia.
     
  7. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

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    Spectacular set!
     
  8. knavel

    knavel TDPRI Member

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    Thanks to all who have sought to help out. It is most appreciated.

    I must say though that on the Gretsch site there are a decent number of people who have encyclopedic knowledge of vintage Gretsches and I always thought Gretsch was an afterthought compared to Tele and Strat players.

    Where are the Tele people here?

    OK, now I have to figure out a way to get Danman to trade me that Ice Blue Metallic 67 Tele......
     
  9. MichaelAa

    MichaelAa Tele-Holic

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    Great-looking guitar. The neck on my `55 is also signed TG, how`s the profile on yours? Mine has got a real comfortable soft-V going to more of a C.

    And as the major said, my thoughts were also that it was changed duo to some repairs or something.

    But that "PR-460", never seen that before I`m afraid.
     
  10. simonsp

    simonsp Friend of Leo's

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    PR 460 doesn't look like something that would have been added by Fender. It looks like someone has hacked that in with the tip of a knife or something. I wonder if it's tied up with discrepancy in years.

    Also, can anyone say what those rectangular marks are around the neck screw holes. They look like they might have been some kind of funky washers. Same person who marked the neck?
     
  11. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

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    Wondered about that too. All Tele's from those years have them. Later they became circular markers. Also around the screw holes.
     
  12. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    Also, can anyone say what those rectangular marks are around the neck screw holes. They look like they might have been some kind of funky washers. Same person who marked the neck?[/QUOTE]

    Possible shims ? the neck heel looks thin and the neck pocket looks deep
    could just be my eyesight or just the angle of the pics
     
  13. Danman

    Danman Tele-Meister

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    Ha ha, well I know a good trade.... It's yellow and it's dated 53 or 54.....;-)
     
  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There is enough that I can see from these pics to make me reserve most comments unless I am looking at that one in-hand. Two things already mentioned....the PR 460 and the rectangles around the neck screw holes...I have never seen before.
    AS to how much it has been played by that original owner.....if that guitar has not been played some, then it has been handled a lot while not being played. The pics don't show us much, but I can see light damage/finish wear to the body edge in the pic that shows us the control cavity.
    The last '53 Tele I bought, I only pulled the control plate up for a quick peek. The guitar had 2 bronze strings on it and had not been played in decades...but I knew there was no question that it was totally original. Taking it apart after I bought it only verified it for anyone else. This guitar here???? I start looking really close at it. There is a lot I like about it, but there are questions that I can't answer from here.
     
  15. knavel

    knavel TDPRI Member

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    Well Wally, here is what I can tell you about the guitar. I remember the day it was advertised for sale in the Detroit News in approximately 1988--we still have that classified advertisement cut out and pasted in a book we kept back in those days.

    I remember my brother driving up to Flint, MI to buy it. There was no amp advertised but--as was our practice back then--we always asked about those things and the seller said, "oh yeah...". $25 for the Deluxe.

    He recounted to me at the time that the seller told him she bought the guitar in the 50s and never really kept with it so it got set aside. The guitar never had a case and her children used it as a toy in the 60s which is why there is wear around the body edges even though the instrument's neck shows it is unplayed.

    I recall him bringing home the guitar and custom building a case for it where it was housed thereafter until he got a reissue poodle case a couple of years ago.

    In 1991 we took it to the studio to record with and that's when the original nut got broken. That nut is taped under the ashtray pickup cover. On myspace before it got gutted there was a picture of me playing this Telecaster at that record date in 1991--I'm sure that pic is around somewhere.

    I was surprised to find recently when revisiting this guitar that in his Telecaster book, Duchessoir lists this very guitar by its serial number as an example of why Fender dating from that period is all over the place. So I asked my brother how Duchessoir could ever have gotten that serial number and he said he sent in the serial number to some place at the time. Duchessoir's book is not incorrect when it talks about this guitar, but it is a bit misleading because it fails to mention that the body is dated from 1953. I stated that in a post elsewhere on this forum--in response to a post by you by the way.

    So Wally there is no doubt whatsoever about the provenance of this guitar since the late 80s. If this is some questionable instrument then it's been the case since Duchessoir published his Telecaster book and the guitar made it in there--being 1991.

    The purchase price of this Telecaster would suggest the seller was certainly not up to anything, and getting the Deluxe amp on the fly for $25 makes it pretty clear that everything she told my brother was in good faith and to the best of her recollection.

    OK so I've told you the story, can we now hear the comments you are reserving?
    _____
    @MichaelAa, I am not really good with describing profile. I used to comment that it was like a small tree trunk cut in two symmetrical pieces. I always thought it was clubby. But I'll play anything.

    The Fender neck I always really liked is the one on our 59 Stratocaster (also from the original owner by the way, and I have a picture of him playing it in his band in 1962 along with the blonde (tone ring) Bandmaster which we also have--that old "hey do you have an amp?" approach again). That Stratocaster has what I believe is a "C" neck, or so someone told me, very thin.

    @Danman - I think the Ice Blue Metallic is a great find and your destiny.
     
  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    knavel, great story. IT is a good thing that the Tele is tough enough to be a toy and still live as a gutiar, right? The neck details are still intriguing despite your knowledge of thehistory from 1988 on. Everything before that is a story..undocumented...but interesting, nonetheless. IF you ever put that gutiar up for sale, you will understand why I make that observation. That "PR460" and those rectangles with the stains will be questioned, ime.
    That said, sweet duo there...the tele and the amp.
     
  17. knavel

    knavel TDPRI Member

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    The neck is still a Gomez neck despite the other things. There is no way this seller, a typical 50s girl buying a guitar, would have had anything to do with the squares and the PR inscription. Yes people can ask the questions but they will have to balance whatever some book somewhere tells them versus the most unplayed Telecaster neck they are likely to ever come across. Somewhere amongst all that is the price.
     
  18. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

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    Regarding the rectangles around the neck mounting holes... Those or round impressions are things I like to see on a 50s neck. I can't explain the rectangles, but there's plenty of pics of them to be found online. Also, look closely at the pic in the following thread, from around the same time as this thread:
    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/vintage-tele-discussion-forum-pre-1974/513554-56-tele-pics.html

    Not sure I'd call the Tele in that other thread a 1956 though. With a 12/56 neck date I suspect the guitar was completed in 1957. It doesn't appear that the body is dated or the pot codes mentioned (unless I missed those things).
     
  19. knavel

    knavel TDPRI Member

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    Thanks! One matter down and two to go, namely that etching and the gap between the body and neck date.
     
  20. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

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    As is often the case, family stories are sometimes incorrect or with omissions. I think it's most likely that someone with the initials PR and maybe a birthdate correlating to the numbers did that, and that the neck was refinished. Given the disparity in body and neck dates, it's of course possible that the neck was originally on another guitar -- perhaps there's a body out there somewhere with the same engraving. ;)

    Would need better pics of the neck, showing the fretboard, headstock front and back, decal detail, etc. to say much more, but the butt and base do look good for 54. But the lacquer on the base doesn't look 60 yrs old to me.

    Even with the date disparity, it's possible the neck and body are original to each other. Who knows. It's problematic for collectors, but on the plus side, if someone was faking one or the other in assembling the guitar to deceive, the parts would likely be dated closer together.

    I've seen original 63 Teles with 61 dated necks, and a custom color Tele likely to be all original with a late 63 stamped neck, 63/64 correct hardware and electronics, but a body that is typical of 66.
     
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