The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson Les Paul Model Gold Top, 1952

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In 1952, the Gibson Les Paul Model made its first appearance as a single cutaway, solid body guitar with the now-standard combination of a carved Maple cap on a Mahogany body, with a Mahogany neck and Rosewood fingerboard. The available finish was a metallic gold top with clear lacquer over the rest of the guitar. The earliest models had an un-bound fingerboard, but this quickly changed to a bound fingerboard. At the time, ‘Rosewood’ came from Brazil.

This Gibson Les Paul Model sports the original gold top finish and dates to 1952, the first year of production. One of the nicest 1952 models we’ve seen for a while, it is in largely original condition, with no structural changes or breakage. As a 1952 model, it does not bear a serial number; Gibson began stamping serials on these in 1953.

This example of 1952 production is in overall good condition with no breaks, but expected finish wear in all the areas one would expect from 70 years of use. It appears to have received a professional partial refret at some point, to around the 8th fret, and plays extremely well for a 1952 model.

The two P-90 pickups and electronics appear to be original, and the tall gold barrel type knobs are specific to these 1952 – early 1953 models. The pickguard is long missing, and the output jack plate is a metal replacement – the original plastic plates tend to break over time. The original Kluson Deluxe tuning machines have been replaced with newer, drop-in replacement Gibson Deluxe models. At one time, an ABR-1 bridge was installed and there are two holes from its supports, visible under the trapeze string bar.

In 1952 and into the first part of 1953, at least 1,716 Gibson Les Paul models were built with a combination bridge / tailpiece designed and patented by Les Paul himself. The intention for this part was that the strings would feed through the front and over the top, allowing palm muting. This requires a fairly steep neck angle. Intonation was adjusted by altering the position of the string bar along the threaded trapeze supports. However, on the shop floor, this intention was misinterpreted, and the neck angle was shallow rather than steep, requiring the strings to be run underneath the string bar. This led to the 1953 introduction of the stop-bar bridge and a much steeper neck angle.

The original trapeze bridge on this guitar has been improved with the Joe Glaser bridge bar. This bolt-on part reduces the height of the original bridge and provides an intonation ridge, allowing for playable action, palm muting, and better intonation. The original string bar is included.

The original flat-top, brown and pink hard shell case is included.


Price: $36,500.00 CAD
  • Model: Les Paul
  • Year: 1952
  • Finish Gold Top
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A, built during 1952 in Kalamazoo MI. Serials started in 1953
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 14/09/2022

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 8.448lbs 3.84kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 43.05mm 1.695in
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