The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Fender Custom Shop 1951 Telecaster Relic Blonde, 2016


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The Fender Custom Shop produces guitars like the 1951 Telecaster Relic, unique or otherwise very hard to find examples of rare instruments.

The earliest prototype Telecasters, or what became the Telecaster, started to take shape in 1949, built with a Pine body, one piece Maple neck, and slanted bridge pickup. Patents were granted for this design on October 30, 1951, after the guitar was in formal production. The first models bore a ‘Broadcaster’ name under the Fender logo, though the Gretsch company quickly objected to this – they used the name ‘BroadKaster’ on a drum line. The ‘Broadcaster’ section was removed from the logo decals, and while a new name was sought, ‘NoCaster’ models were produced; these are identical except for the headstock decal.

By 1951, the Telecaster was appearing in Fender catalogs, along with the Esquire (which technically appeared before the Broadcaster. The Esquire was a single pickup version of the Telecaster, built with Telecaster parts and a pickguard that lacked the cutout for the pickup; however, the pickup cavity was routed in the body.

The rest, as they say, is history. The Fender Telecaster has been one of the most successful musical instrument designs ever, and its core concepts have been used by thousands of other models by other builders since. The Telecaster itself is still available in forms very much like its initial incarnation.

Here we’re looking at a Fender Custom Shop 1951 Telecaster Relic, built during 2016 at the Fender plant in Corona, California. This guitar is in excellent condition – though that is an awkward thing to say about a Relic guitar, which has been treated to reproduce decades of hard use. It’s very much as it was when it left the Fender shop!

The Fender Custom Shop 1951 Telecaster Relic features a light-weight Ash body, and a full-U profile, one piece Maple neck. This neck design was one of Leo Fender’s breakthroughs. The finish reproduces the original nitrocellulose lacquer ‘blonde’, but with significant wear. Tuners are Kluson Deluxe style with metal buttons, as Fender continued to use for decades. The bridge offers three Brass saddles, and has the Patent Pending stamp, as many early 1950’s models did (until Fender ran out and had to re-order). One small detail is the use of oval head, slot type screws instead of oval head Phillips screws – Fender started this change in 1951 but the transition was not complete until 1953, presumably when the last of the slot-head screw stock was used!

This is a very interesting guitar to play. It feels like an early 1950’s Telecaster, and has the unmistakable Telecaster sound. The rather full profile neck is surprisingly comfortable.

The original Fender G&G Tweed hard shell case is included, and contains the ‘Ash Tray’ bridge cover, Certificate of Authenticity (included in the image gallery for this instrument) and various cards.

Price: $3,399.99 CAD
  • Model: 51 Telecaster Relic
  • Year: 2016
  • Finish Blonde Relic
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: R15528
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 12/08/2019

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.6lbs 3kg
  • Scale Length: 25.5in 648mm
  • Nut Width: 1.65in 42mm

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