1953 Gibson J-45 with Original Lifton Case

John Shults

Posted on June 13 2020

Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar vintage 1953 1950s


This Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar from 1953 with original Lifton case came through the shop a few years ago. I'm always a vintage Gibson guitar buyer but I especially love the 1950s acoustic Gibsons. Please contact me here to sell a vintage Gibson guitar

Gibson introduced the J-45 in the summer of 1942 as the newest version in its Jumbo line preceded by the Jumbo-35. In Gibson nomenclature, "Jumbo" refers to a 16" wide lower bout while the 17" lower bout is known as the Super Jumbo. The J-45 featured a Spruce top, Mahogany back and sides a 24 3/4" scale length. The model has gone through some changes but it still retained the original scalloped X top bracing up until 1955. These guitars are lightly built and very resonant as a result. Early 1950s Gibson J-45 guitars have been used extensively by flatpickers like Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek to songwriters like Joey Ryan of the Milk Carton Kids.

This 1953 Gibson J-45 has been wonderfully preserved and is ready to go back on stage, in the studio or in your collection. All parts are original to the guitar except for the tuner buttons (tuning machines original), bridge pins and a new handcrafted bone saddle by Jason Burns. The original sunburst finish is soft with very light checking throughout. The neck is straight and the frets have very little wear. The only other repairs are a couple of reglued back braces. This guitar was made just as Gibson started to transition from the earlier style slot saddle to the later drop in style. This on was the lucky recipient of the earlier style slot saddle. This J-45 is both a finely tuned instrument for the player and an objet d'art for the discerning collector.

Since the J-45 was originally produced as a mid-grade working guitar, very few of them remain in collectable condition. Most J-45s received the chipboard "Alligator" style case that did little to preserve the instrument. Heavy playing wear, temperature/humidity fluctuation and hot car trunks have taken many of these beauties into salvage condition. This one has clearly been spared of that fate (edit: sold!)

1950s Gibson guitar J-45

Gibson headstock J-45 1953

Gibson J-45 1950s 1953 guitar

no line Kluson tuners 1953 Gibson J-45

1950s Gibson acoustic guitar

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