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Epiphone Zephyr Regent Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1953

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Appearing in a time when giant archtops roamed the earth and Gibson was Epiphone’s biggest external competitor, the Epiphone Zephyr Regent was a mid range cutaway archtop with a single pickup. Epiphone had ridden the mass migration of jazz players from banjo to guitar and come out as the most prominent builder.

The Epiphone Zephyr Regent model was built under that name from 1950 to 1953, and from 1954 to 1957 was named the Zephyr Cutaway. In 1950, Epiphone was building at its plant in New York City, but by 1953 labour tensions culminating in a strike led Epiphone management to relocate that plant to Philadelphia. Not all of the workers wanted to follow, and the core of workers who stayed behind formed the Guild guitar company under the management of music store owner Alfred Dronge and former Epiphone executive George Mann.

The Epiphone Zephyr Regent is a full body, 17.375 inches wide, built using Maple laminates for the top, back and sides for feedback resistance. The neck is Mahogany with Rosewood for the wooden bridge and bound fingerboard.  The position markers are slotted Mother of Pearl blocks,  perhaps looking forward to the markers found on the later Epiphone Howard Roberts model. 

A single ‘New York’ style pickup is installed at the neck position, with Volume and Tone controls in the lower bout. The control knobs are Epiphone’s creme octagonal ‘Carousel’ models. The ‘New York’ pickup rather looks like a humbucking pickup, but is a single coil; humbuckers did not appear in successful form until around 1957, when both Gibson and Gretsch received patents.

This example of Epiphone’s Philadelphia production is in overall good and largely original condition. The finish is quite clean, but in a number of locations binding has separated and this has broken the lacquer along the seams, particularly at the fingerboard tag binding. Frets appear to be original given that the binding ‘nubs’ are still in place.  The finish on the front of the headstock looks like it might have been enthusiastically cleaned at one point, leading to greater lacquer checking in that area.  

The heel cap is a replacement, and the original pickguard is in the original case.

The original black Epiphone faux-gator hard shell case is included.


 

Price: $2499.99 CAD
  • Model: Zephyr Regent
  • Year: 1953
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 65042, built during 1953 in Philadelphia
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 18/06/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.93lbs 3.15kg
  • Scale Length: 647.7mm 25.5in
  • Nut Width: 43mm 1.692in
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