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  1. #1



    Looking to buy an old school trapeze tailpiece like the one pictured! These are the 30’s Gibson ones, but I think that the raised diamond style from the same general time period that would also work great.

    From my research I think Gibson had three or four main tailpiece varieties for non-L5 guitars in this era; I think earliest were the non wrap-over ones with “Pat. 19xx” engraved on the nickel mounting base, then the same ones again but with unmarked bases (see picture), and finally the raised diamond ones closer to the 40’s.

    If you have any of those tailpieces, or if you know of any other styles of 30’s Gibson tailpieces, please let me know! Interesting subject but haven’t found much out on the web.

    Thanks for your time and consideration,
    Coop

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  3. #2

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    Here's a NOS Kluson archtop trapeze tailpiece from the end of that period. Gibson used similar Kluson tailpieces on some wartime and post-war ES-300 models. National used them on some of their Gibson-bodied guitars as well. I suuspect I'll never use it, in case anyone wants it.
    Attached Images Attached Images Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gibson-es300-archtop-sb-1946-cons-full-front-jpg-nggid0523154-ngg0dyn-845x0x100-00f0w010c010r110-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-kluson-n-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 02-26-2021 at 04:17 PM.

  4. #3

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    Looks better = more Art Deco without the F-holes.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Ashtray



    Looking to buy an old school trapeze tailpiece like the one pictured! These are the 30’s Gibson ones, but I think that the raised diamond style from the same general time period that would also work great.

    From my research I think Gibson had three or four main tailpiece varieties for non-L5 guitars in this era; I think earliest were the non wrap-over ones with “Pat. 19xx” engraved on the nickel mounting base, then the same ones again but with unmarked bases (see picture), and finally the raised diamond ones closer to the 40’s.

    If you have any of those tailpieces, or if you know of any other styles of 30’s Gibson tailpieces, please let me know! Interesting subject but haven’t found much out on the web.

    Thanks for your time and consideration,
    Coop

  6. #5

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    Gibson used this for a very brief time @'36-'37. I've seen it on the L-7 and L-5 (it may have appeared on the L-10 and L-12, but I've yet to see it on those models):
    Attached Images Attached Images Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gib-l7-37_5280-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-2-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 02-26-2021 at 04:49 PM.

  7. #6

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    This was followed in @ later '37 by more elaborate versions for the L-7, L-10 and L-12, and a bunch of changes to a new L-5 tailpiece - note the last version, with no hinge and an added top-cracker:
    Attached Images Attached Images Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gib-l10-37-tailpiece-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gibson-tailpieces-3-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-4606378434_438x701-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-4612769097-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-4601500842_237x349-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 02-26-2021 at 06:56 PM.

  8. #7
    What a fantastic thread! Absolutely beautiful hardware, I really enjoyed these pictures

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Here's a NOS Kluson archtop trapeze tailpiece from the end of that period. Gibson used similar Kluson tailpieces on some wartime and post-war ES-300 models. National used them on some of their Gibson-bodied guitars as well. I suuspect I'll never use it, in case anyone wants it.


    Hammertone I just looked at your pictures again and my eyes almost popped out of my head! My guitar pictured above has the exact same tailpiece, I had no idea it was a Kluson design and assumed it was a funky aftermarket part. It seems to do the job well, I just don’t love the style... but might have to reconsider now!

    Also- the serial in the guitar is destroyed, is there any chance this tailpiece could help me identify what year/model I have? Hard to tell if it’s an L4 or L7, but if I could narrow the date range that would be very helpful with the distinction. Thanks!

  10. #9

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    Inbetween the very simple tailpiece show in the original post and the fairly heavy tailpieces shown above, Gibson used simple wire tailpieces with heavy, model-specific crossbars. Here's are some L-7 / L-12 / L-5 tailpieces, ranging from '34 to '37 that show the evolution. In '37, it was possible to get an L-7 (and probably an L-12) with any one of three different tailpieces, depending on the time of production. By '38, Gibson had sorted out the designs, as shown above.


    Attached Images Attached Images Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gib-l7-34-tp-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gib-l12-34-tp-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gib-l7-37-tp1-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gib-l12-36-tp-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gib-l7-37-tp2-jpg Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gib-l5-37-tp-jpg 

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Ashtray
    Hammertone I just looked at your pictures again and my eyes almost popped out of my head! My guitar pictured above has the exact same tailpiece, I had no idea it was a Kluson design and assumed it was a funky aftermarket part. It seems to do the job well, I just don’t love the style... but might have to reconsider now!
    Also- the serial in the guitar is destroyed, is there any chance this tailpiece could help me identify what year/model I have? Hard to tell if it’s an L4 or L7, but if I could narrow the date range that would be very helpful with the distinction. Thanks!
    The tailpiece you have is probably a replacement - easy enough to tell by looking for old screwholes from an original tailpiece. Hardly definitive, but I've never seen one of these on an early '30s Gibson archtop like yours. In general your guitar was probably built no later than @'34 or '35, because that 16" design was phased out and replaced with the 17" Advanced design. BTW, your tailpiece is worth a pile of money to anyone restoring an old Gibson ES-300.
    Attached Images Attached Images Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gib-l4-l7-@34-jpg 

  12. #11
    Hammertone you rock, very informative and the pictures should prove extremely helpful in my search for a period correct one! Really appreciate your expertise, thanks

  13. #12
    1941 Gibson L-4

    I’m naively wondering again if the tailpiece could have been put on at the factory if this is an early 40’s L4 like the one from this link to Joe’s old listing. It has burst sides and back which doesn’t seem to match most descriptions I’ve found... When I get it back from the shop I’ll need to do some measuring

  14. #13

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    Yours really doesn't smell like a '40s "Special" guitar, but more pix would be required to confirm that with any certainty. However, the style of tailpiece shown on the guitar you linked to at Joe's place would be far more appropriate for your guitar than the one that is currently installed. These tailpieces are easy to find - Gibson made a billion of them over the years and used them on many guitar models, and there are several excellent quality nickel-plated repros out there as well in internetland. Heck, I have a brand new nickel-plated repro in my box-o'-many-tailpieces.
    Attached Images Attached Images Vintage Trapeze Tailpieces-gib-archtop-tailpiece-jpg