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Gibson Byrdland Florentine Cutaway Sunburst, 1968

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The Gibson Byrdland Florentine cutaway model originally had a rounded, ‘Venetian’ cutaway between its introduction in 1955 and 1960, and regained the Venetian cutaway in 1969. Modern Custom Shop ‘reissue’ models are available with either shape, since 1992.

The Byrdland had its origins in the requirements of busy working session guitarists – two working session guitarists in particular. Hank Garland and Billy Byrd were two of the top Nashville players throughout the 1950’s. They approached Ted McCarty, president of Gibson, with the idea for a new guitar model. This new model would be based on the body of the also new Gibson ES-350T – based on the very successful ES-300 – but with a carved solid Spruce top for better acoustic tone, and most importantly, a short, 23.5 inch scale length and narrow fingerboard. This shorter scale and narrower fingerboard were specified to aid fast handling of elaborate or wide chord forms found on more complex charts.

The Byrdland body is 17 inches wide, full size for an archtop, but with 2.25 inch deep sides. It uses a solid, carved Spruce top, with Laminate Maple for the sides and back, solid Maple for the neck, Ebony for the bound fingerboard and Rosewood for the bridge base. Multi layer binding is applied to much of the guitar, with the only single-layer binding being around the F holes. Metal hardware is gold plated. Tuners are Grover Imperial models, and the Trapeze tailpiece has BYRDLAND engraved on the bar. Wiring is traditional Gibson, with a pair of Humbucking pickups (after 1957; the first two years used Alnico V pickups), selector switch, individual volume and tone controls, and an output jack mounted on the side.

This Gibson Byrdland Florentine example was built during 1968 at the historic Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is largely original; the pickup covers are not original. The original pickguard and brackets are in the case, but are not usable.

These guitars are very interesting to play – the short scale makes it very easy to get around. Usually, short scale guitars like this are offered for students, but not this model; it is a fully professional grade instrument.

The case is a Stone Case Co. reproduction Gibson style brown case.


 

Price: $6999.99 CAD
  • Model: Byrdland
  • Year: 1968
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 527064
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 28/05/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.82lbs 3.1kg
  • Scale Length: 597mm 23.5in
  • Nut Width: 42mm 1.653in
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