This is seriously cool – a 1955 Silvertone S1384 Archtop Guitar. This guitar is virtually identical to the 1955 Harmony Espanada model, with the difference being the branding logos and a fancier trapeze tailpiece.Silvetone guitars were made by Harmony for Sears, Roebuck. Harmony was founded in Chicago in 1892, but in 1916 was purchased by Sears, Roebuck and came to supply many of the instruments available in the Sears, Roebuck stores and catalogs. Harmony also made instruments under their own name and others, including Stella.
The Silvetone S1384 and the Harmony Espanada are extremely similar, and the first two years of production featured metal binding. This example is in very good condition, just missing the S from the Silvertone logo, and plays quite well.
The pickups on this instrument were actually made for Gibson in the very early 1940’s as the P-13. Gibson made these to replace the Charlie Christian pickup, and it appears on some models like the 1940 to 1942 ES-125 and ES-150. Shortly after that, though, the P-90 was introduced, the P-13 was discontinued, and the remaining stock of P-13s was sold to Harmony.
Check out Spider Tetsu playing a 1955 Silvertone S1384:
This guitar features a classic Harmony style, cutaway archtop body, 3.5 inches deep. Two F-holes, metal binding and the original black nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
The neck is likely made from maple, with a bound, black-stained, maple fingerboard. The scale length is 25.25 inches or 642mm. Faux Mother of Peal block position markers. This neck has no truss rod, which helps to date the guitar to the first year of production – 1955 – as truss rods were added in 1956. There is minor wear on the frets.
The hardware is the original nickel-plated hardware; open gear tuners with oval buttons, two Harmony single-coil pickups (Gibson P-13 models) with curved white-backed Plexiglass trim rings, at least one pickup support screw is not original; pickup selector, individual volume and tone controls, ribbed creme control knobs, trapeze tailpiece, clear plexiglass pickguard. Adjustable rosewood bridge, plastic nut.
Serial Number: There is no serial number, but through the bass sound hole the number 1631064 can be seen. These Silvertone guitars were built for Sears, Roebuck by Harmony (which was actually owned by Sears, Roebuck) in Chicago, Illinois. The lack of a truss rod dates this instrument to 1955.
Pricing: $2,499.99 Canadian dollars, or $1,998 US dollars (based on 1.24% exchange rate), with non-original hardshell case.