Born in the Fifties: Electric Guitars
1953 Gibson ES-295 #A15572
The Gibson ES-295 was introduced in 1952 as the full-sized, hollowbody complement to the solidbody Les Paul Model, also debuting that year. While the ES-295 shared the same flashy gold coloring of the Les Paul, along with the unique tailpiece, it was basically a fancier two pickup version of the ES-175 (the two-pickup ES- 175D did not appear until 1953). The basic features of an ES-295 included an all gold finish, two single coil P-90s with cream covers, a cream pickguard with gold floral designs, a Les Paul bridge/tailpiece combination and gold-plated metal parts.
The guitar featured in this month’s article is a typical 1953 ES-295 in every way except one: the color. While a tobacco sunburst finish was standard on most Gibsons from the thirties through the fifties, it is very rare to see an ES-295 in this color. The only other P-90 equipped ES-295 we know of was sold in 1999 at Eric Clapton’s Christie’s auction (two late cherry sunburst humbucker-equipped examples from the fifties are also known to exist).
Credit: Tim Mullally & Dave Rogers, Daves Guitar Shop, La Crosse, WI.