“Respect” is a word that punctuates the author’s enthusiastic comments for the instruments themselves, for the often eccentric craftsmen who gave them life, and for the artists whose music brought them to life. Jonathan is quick to point out that his collection is evolutionary and reflects his shifting tastes that have taken him from electric to acoustic to steel and, currently, to classical, which he describes as a playing challenge that is both inspiring and humbling. Dr. Kellerman’s collection is as noteworthy for his rare pieces as it is for its variety, but as passion goes, first loves are always something special. As you might have guessed, the central piece in his collection is still the pawn shop Gibson.

In these pages we bring you a look at six of the guitars in Jon’s collection:
  • 1932 Martin OM-45 (opposite page)
  • 1936 Martin 000-28S (this page)
  • 1959 Gibson ES-335TN
  • 1962 Gibson Les Paul Custom
  • 1934 D’Angelico Excel
  • 1965 Fender Jazz Bass
You will also find background information and estimated values for these guitars contributed by Premier Guitar columnists and vintage experts Jim Bastian, Kevin Borden and Zach Fjestad.

With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars is now available in a discounted pre-order at amazon.com, and is available in stores and on bn.com and indiebound.com on October 28. For more about Jonathan, visit jonathankellerman.com

Vintage Bliss 1959 Gibson ES-335TN
“The ES-335T(D) wasn’t the first Gibson hollowbody electric guitar, but today it is certainly the most popular and most collectible. In fact, the pioneering ES-150 pre-dates the ES-335 by over 20 years! The thin body and the semi-hollow construction techniques made this guitar extremely popular. The 1959 ES- 335TN pictured here is special (and extremely collectible) for several reasons. Natural finish was only available through 1960, and pearl dot inlays through 1962. The ES-335 also utilized Gibson’s new humbucker pickups right from the beginning. A mint 1959 ES-335TN with Natural finish will easily bring $100,000 in the vintage guitar market.”

–Zachary Fjestad

1962 Gibson Les Paul Custom
“Gibson’s Les Paul model was introduced in 1952, and quickly became their flagship guitar for solidbodies and later throughout the entire guitar line. Throughout the 1950s, Gibson introduced variations of the Les Paul including the top-of-the-line Custom that featured three pickups, full body, neck, and headstock bindings, and ornate pearl inlays. In the early 1960s, Gibson introduced a new design for the Les Paul that featured a symmetrical body with pointed “horns.” The Les Paul Custom shown here was only produced for three years, because in 1963, Les Paul was dropped from all Gibson guitars. These guitars in mint condition are valued between $25,000 and $28,000.”

–Zachary Fjestad
Vintage Bliss