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Exceptional Gibson Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway from 1959, in excellent condition.

The year 1959 is rightly considered the pinnacle of the electric era for the Kalamazoo manufacturer, as it saw both the completion of the ES-3XX series – the fulfillment of Ted McCarty’s goal to create the ultimate electric guitar – as well as the conjunction of all the most coveted construction features on Gibson electrics (ergonomically round necks, Patent Applied For humbucking pickups with incomparable tone, featherweight instruments, stunning finishes on the Les Paul Standard and Custom models…). The Les Paul Junior model, much more modest in its construction than some of its peers, is nevertheless far from being a poor relative of the Gibson family and is in many respects totally iconic: its absolute simplicity has made it an instrument of choice for many musicians in whose hands it has toured the clubs and big stages from the 50s to the present day.

We find this Les Paul Junior in the form that it embodied between July 1958 and early 1961, that is to say with a mahogany slab body bearing an asymmetrical double cutaway (which is reminiscent of that, much more spirited and artistic, of the venerable Gibson Style O from the turn of the century), a single P-90 dogear pickup in the bridge position combined with volume and tone controls, a wraparound bridge/tailpiece, a 22-fret neck fully accessible thanks to the body-neck junction at the last fret (a key element to improve the playability of guitars and which will be integrated into the entire solidbody line when they take the so-called SG shape), an celluloid pickguard imitating tortoiseshell, and a splendid Cherry Red finish foreshadowing the characteristic color of the 60s: ultimately, this variant of the Junior makes the connection between those from the beginning of the decade and those which left the production line from 1961 in the form reimagined in 1960 for the Les Paul line, later renamed SG. This revisited appearance will hit the mark and allow the Junior model to reach its sales record in 1959 – 4,364 guitars for the year, a tour de force for the time even if in view of modern day business standards this number remains minimal!

The instrument presented here comes to us superbly preserved, showing some marks stemming to its use over more than six decades but remaining remarkably intact. With the exception of the tone pot knob and one of the two rows of Kluson Deluxe tuners which have been replaced (the original tuner is kept in the case, one of the buttons is broken), this guitar has all the original parts including its finish, P-90 pickup and electronics, and is free of breaks or other defects. It was recently refretted in our workshop and at the same time was fitted with a new bone nut adjusted to the string gauge. We have applied ourselves to the complete optimization of its setup elements prior to its sale, as well as its complete verification and appraisal – it is thus accompanied by its certificate of authenticity produced by Jérome Casanova.

Sold in a 90s Gibson Les Paul hardshell  case.

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