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1949 Paul Bigsby Guitar hits the Auction Block

In the previous couple of years much of the economy has changed dramatically, and the vintage guitar market is no exception. That being said, the recent Heritage Auction featuring musical instruments held on April 20-21 during the famed Dallas International Guitar Festival showed at least one exception.  On the show and auction floors, folks could be seen drooling over the details of the instrument in the auction brochure and boy did it show when it came time to sell. Up for sale was an extremely rare guitar built by none other than Paul Bigsby.  The guitar has a serial number of 51649, which suggests that the instrument was finished on May 16, 1949. Although almost 63 years old, only 1 tuning machine has been replaced! Talk about being in original condition!

Unique features of this rare guitar include the highly figured maple,  violin tailpiece, bridge posts that are mounted directly into the body, and the headstock decal. A complete description of the features and anomalies of the guitar written by Bigsby expert Deke Dickerson is available on the Heritage Auctions website As discussed and outlined in the Paul Bigsby book (link to other Hal Leonard story), many of the features the P.A. used were long before their time.  Case and point is the bridge setup on this 1949 guitar.  P.A. placed the bridge posts directly into the body for mounting of the bridge. Though commonplace today, in 1949 it was a new innovative what to mount the bridge. For comparison, Gibson didn’t start doing this until the release of the 1954 Les Paul Custom.

When it was all said and done with and the dust had settle, the Bigsby guitar that Paul built brought in $266,500! Not too shabby for a 63 year old guitar! For more information from Heritage Auctions, click HERE

Check out the photos below:


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