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1963 Gibson Barney Kessel Custom, One Owner

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Serial #: 62324, orange oval label

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Materials: Solid flame maple neck; solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard; arched spruce top; arched tiger flame maple back and sides; bowtie mother of pearl fingerboard inlay and eighth-note peghead inlay; triple bound body, bound neck and soundholes.

Hardware: 100% original gold hardware includes twin Gibson Patent Applied For humbucking pickups and electronics; beveled 5-ply pickguard; 3 way control switch, gold reflector cap knobs, Grover Rotomatic tuners, compensated Tunematic bridge with Brazilian rosewood base, Barney Kessel engraved nameplate tailpiece.

Notes: Guitar legend Barney Kessel began his career as an acolyte of his fellow Oklahoman Charlie Christian. With a career that spanned from the bands of Artie Shaw and Charlie Barnet to the combos of Charlie Parker and Oscar Peterson, Kessel's resume spanned the most formative years of the contemporary jazz guitar. After a short-lived endorsement deal with Kay, Kessel became a Gibson artist, and his namesake model made its debut in 1961.

A 17" long scale twin pickup jazz box in the tradition of the ES-350, the Barney Kessel was Gibson's first full-depth double cutaway archtop, a design intended to facilitate access to the uppermost frets. This deluxe version of the model was designated the Custom, and is equipped with all gold hardware, solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, arched spruce top, and the distinctive bowtie and eighth-note inlay. Produced in very small numbers, this exceptional guitar is one of just 43 Barney Kessel Customs produced in its model year.

Purchased brand new at Sherman Clay Music in Seattle in 1964, this guitar has been meticulously stored by its original owner now for over half a century. Equipped with all original hardware, the guitar has twin gold Patent Applied For humbucking pickups, and all original wiring including a full set of shielding cans for each of the four volume controls. The body shows spectacular tiger flame maple in the back and neck, and a very handsome bookmatched arched spruce soundboard, in contrast to the maple tops found on the Barney Kessel Regular. The original cherry sunburst finish retains its vibrant hue, and has been preserved in uncannily pristine condition, without pick, thumb, or fingerboard wear, and is absent even the typical checking found in almost all instruments of similar vintage. Both pickups show original PAF decals in place and unopened gold covers, and are beautifully matched with smooth, powerful output. The original Grover Rotomatic tuners are in magnificent shape, as is the original 5 ply beveled pickguard and bracket, the original gold reflector cap knobs, and the original Brazilian rosewood adjustable compensated Tunematic bridge.

Best of all, the neck has a very comfortable light D profile, with the full 1 11/16" fingerboard width, and the original medium jumbo frets are still high and undented on the handsome solid ebony fingerboard. The tone is classic 60's jazz: fat, warm and sweet, with excellent clarity and balance across the range. Amazingly, the original Gibson Faultless hardshell is virtually unworn as well, and includes the full set of factory paperwork, including the original green hangtag, and instruction sheets for the PAF pickups and the Tunematic bridge. An astounding find, in breathtaking condition: we've yet to see another BK this pristine to date. Call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings (.012-.054). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original black Gibson hardshell case with gold plush lining.









































































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