56 6120 plain block inlays? Nickel bigsby over sprayed gold?

gretschcrush

Electromatic
Mar 8, 2010
93
UK

ForTheLoveOfIvy

Gretschie
Feb 28, 2022
376
London
I think the Bigsby looks like a legit anodised fixed arm B6 typical of a '55 6120...the gold has been worn off by too much wiggling. They spelled Chet's name wrong tho ! ☺️
 
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afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
6,211
Where the action is!
The plain inlays are unusual, the truss rod cover is not original, and the aluminum Bigsby base and removed pickup shims make me suspect that it's in need of a neck reset, but the Bigsby appears legit to me, just well worn.
 

Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Aug 27, 2008
3,796
East Coast
Who's claiming this to be a 1956 example? The #173xx batch is the thrid group of 1955 6120 guitars to come off the production line... and the anodized gold fixed-arm B6 was standard equipment for those guitars. Of the 14 documented examples I've found from this batch none of the others (including #17371 and #17375) have blank block markers. HOWEVER... I've documented several from later in this batch, 2 with hump-blocks and 1 with neoclassic markers, that appear to have been factory re-necks, further evidenced by the presence of a longer truss rod cover and horseshoe headstock logo on the two with hump-blocks, and a zero fret and horseshoe logo on the one with neos. So this one (#17374) may have received a new neck at some point in '56 as well. I have seen a couple early 6121 from the 1956 model year with blank-block markers... I own one. So maybe they used one of those fretboards for some reason. Luckily it retains the steers-head headstock logo.
 

Pemberton

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
May 4, 2022
492
Pennsylvania, USA
I’m always checking Reverb for vintage Gretschs, and I have not seen this one before now, and it’s been listed for 6 months.

I believe that it doesn’t show up in my search results because they don’t have international shipping in the listing, they only have local pickup (although they do write in the description that they’re willing to ship international).

So anyone outside of the UK, the listing doesn’t show up in their search results. ETSY does the same thing, and Reverb is owned by ETSY.

EDIT: I just now realized that you can change “ship to everywhere” in your Reverb searches, and all international listings should show up regardless of where the seller will and will not ship to.
 
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Hepkat67

Electromatic
May 11, 2016
4
somewhere down the road
If you look closely to Pic 6 of the listing, you will see a very faint sparrow left on the 17th fret inlay. Makes me think of perhaps some "brutal" fretboard planing during refret job ?
 

ForTheLoveOfIvy

Gretschie
Feb 28, 2022
376
London
I’m always checking Reverb for vintage Gretschs, and I have not seen this one before now, and it’s been listed for 6 months.

I believe that it doesn’t show up in my search results because they don’t have international shipping in the listing, they only have local pickup (although they do write in the description that they’re willing to ship international).

So anyone outside of the UK, the listing doesn’t show up in their search results. ETSY does the same thing, and Reverb is owned by ETSY.

EDIT: I just now realized that you can change “ship to everywhere” in your Reverb searches, and all international listings should show up regardless of where the seller will and will not ship to.
I'm always checking too but I think I reason I hadn't seen it until the OP put it up is because the listing doesn't have 1955 or '55 in the title.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
6,211
Where the action is!
If you look closely to Pic 6 of the listing, you will see a very faint sparrow left on the 17th fret inlay. Makes me think of perhaps some "brutal" fretboard planing during refret job ?
I think I see it too. And that inlay is also partially replaced. Weird. Something's odd here. It does look like a refret, but if it was planed brutally, then you'd expect the binding nibs to have been obliterated, but there they are. Maybe somebody just decided that the cacti and rifles were too much and deliberately defaced the inlays.
 

gasmoney

Electromatic
Aug 6, 2014
95
usa
This guitar. It’s been through a few rough patches in it’s life.
it definitely had western inlays. As noted above the last fret still shows the arrow. it was planed during a refret And lost all of the other western inlays.
I remember in 1990 my luthier wanted to plane my 55’ 6120 when it needed a refret. I said no no no. We managed to get it done without planing.

the other thing on this 6120 is that bigsby. It’s been powder coated gold. They patina and aging on it is NOT what you get from an anodized bigsby. You’ll notice no proper aging at all on the base plate. And the wear on the arm is a giveaway too.

the truss rod cover being wrong is a bad thing. who know what went on to need to replace it. New truss rod?

the bones are good but at 18k you have a lot to pick from that are far far better than this old bird.

heres a close up of a 55 B6.
5A1137B2-89D2-4327-A261-4EDEEB6FCBFB.jpeg
 


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