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1963 Gibson Barney Kessel Custom

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Serial #: 62325, 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 Sticker humbucking pickups and electronics; beveled 5-ply pickguard; 3 way control switch, gold reflector cap knobs, Kluson Super 'waffleback' tuners, adjustable compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge, 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 handsome guitar is one of just 43 Barney Kessel Customs produced in its model year.

Purchased new at famed Fife and Nichols Music in Hollywood, this guitar has been carefully maintained in 100% original condition. 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.) All-gold hardware includes early Patent Sticker humbucking pickups, Kluson Super 'waffleback' tuners, 5 ply beveled pickguard and bracket, gold reflector cap knobs, adjustable compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge, and the signature BK nameplate tailpiece. Even the full set of shielding cans for each of the four control pots are intact and unopened.

The original cherry sunburst finish retains its vibrant hue, and is remarkably free of pick, buckle wear, showing some light checking and a few incidental nicks, just enough to vouch for its complete originality. Both pickups show original Pat. # decals in place and original gold covers, and are beautifully matched with smooth, powerful output. At just 7lb. 2oz, the guitar is nicely lightweight and well balanced as well. Best of all, the neck has a supremely elegant light D profile, with the full 1 11/16" fingerboard width, and smooth low action over a fresh high-precision setup, on immaculate pro fretwork. The tone is 60's at its best: fat, warm and sweet, with excellent clarity and balance across the range. All ensconced in the original brown Lifton 'California Girl' plush lined hardshell case, complete with both Gibson and Fife and Nichols badges. A superb player, a stunning looker, and the most desirable version of this iconic model. One only: 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 brown Gibson hardshell case with pink plush lining.









































































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