This is a vintage 1954 Fender Esquire electric guitar. This particular one owner example, serial number 2919, is in very nice all original vintage condition. This no issues ’54 Esquire features of all the same characteristics that make “Black Guards” from just months earlier worth a small fortune, including; a flat/non-staggered pole-piece pickup, a creamy yellow butterscotch blonde finish and the serial number on the bridge.
Serial Number: 2919
Potentiometer Codes: 304325 (1953, Stackpole)
Body Pencil Date: “5/54”
Control Cavity Tape Date: “Gloria 6/10/54”
Neck Pencil Date: “TG 6-54” (Tadeo Gomez)
Pickup Resistance: 5.84Ω
Weight: 6 lbs. 10 oz.
’54 Fender Telecaster features:
– Maple neck
– 2-piece Ash body
– Butterscotch Blond finish (like a ’52)
– Non-staggered pole pickup magnets (like a ’52)
– Serial number on bridge plate (like a ’52)
– White single layer ABS pickguard
– “No-line” Kluson tuning machines
– Knurled chrome-plated brass knobs
This guitar was recently appraised by George Gruhn with an accurate current market value of $20,000.00. Though it might be tough to replace for that, it is a very fair appraisal.
As the Gruhn appraisal states, this guitar is ALL ORIGINAL, except for the capacitors. Original caps would be easy and cheap to buy if the new owner cared to restore this guitar to it’s true all original state. Otherwise, everything else is 100% all original, including; the Butterscoth Blonde body finish, the nitrocellulose neck finish, the pickguard, the flat pole-piece pickup, the bridge, the Spaghetti logo decal, the neck plate, the no-line Kluson tuners, the pots, the hardware, the frets, the nut and even the round string tree
The neck does not feature the assumed large “baseball bat-like” profile, rather, it is nicely shaped to a more generally accessible medium-size fit. The frets appear to have dressed by a pro luthier years ago, but have life left, and the action is quite low, so with all of the aforementioned qualities, the guitar plays great. It is surprisingly comfortable, and as can bee seen, has been thoroughly worn which renders the now matte and worn finish absolutely fantastic. Other early Teles can have stiff action and less manipulable playability, but this one feels better than the most fine-tuned of Custom Shop creations.
This guitar is quite light weight, and as detailed above, only weighs 6 lbs. and 10 oz. Tremendously resonant, the Ash body and Maple neck look incredible: forcefully aged Relics don’t look anything like those which have been lovingly used consistently for over 50 years. And when someone suggests a guitar has mojo or vibe, the general aesthetic is like that of this exact Esquire. Clearly never abused nor modified, just played lots and lots.
This Esquire is one of those guitars that is acoustically prominent without even being plugged in. It sounds amazing through the several amps I’ve used it with. The original pickup is exhibiting microphonic symptoms, though that is partially why it sounds so incredible. There are numerous ways to reduce such, but as the seller, I will let the buyer decide how to approach it if they feel it is an issue.
If the original white pickguard was replaced with an era appropriate black one, which was common practice in the 80’s by many well-known dealers, this Esquire would be worth even more. The new owner could easily replace it with a great black guard replica if they should prefer the aesthetic of the earlier ones, at which point, it would look just like a ’52.
Ask anyone who has had the good fortune of owning, or even playing, an early-50’s Tele, as the consensus suggests there is something quite special about the early ones, and in that respect it’s true. Both magical and mysterious yet simple and obvious, this is the guitar that inspired more than just guitarists… it represented a complete paradigm shift in popular music.
The guitar includes a hard plastic non-original Fender case.