1954 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop from Colorado
Posted on July 21 2022
This very clean 1954 Gibson Les Paul Model has just come through the shop! It's a very fine example from the third year of production of what collectors call the Goldtop Les Paul. I was thrilled to purchase this guitar as a part of a guitar collection I bought in outside of Denver, Colorado. Even at about 68 years old, this goldtop Les Paul is a very fine playing example with original gold finish and excellent frets.
As a Gibson guitar collector, I'm always on the hunt for the nicest examples of 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitars. If you've inherited a 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitar and are curious to find the year by serial number then check out Gibson Les Paul Serial Numbers. Or if you're interested in finding the value of a 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitar then you can contact me here: Sell a Gibson.
Gibson Les Paul 1954
1954 is one of my favorite years for the Gibson Les Paul. The Goldtop Les Paul was introduced in 1952 with a few limitations including a shallow neck pitch and a wrap under trapeze tailpiece bridge which many players found cumbersome. Gibson resolved both issues in 1953, so all the 1954 Les Pauls I've played have been fantastic electric guitars. The wrap tail bridge may not intonate as tightly as the later Tune-O-Matic bridge, but they are still exceptional instruments with great tone.
We can easily date this Gibson Les Paul Model to 1954 using the serial number and features. Gibson was using an ink stamped serial number with a digit prefix and four or five following digits for the solid body range from 1953 until 1961. This Goldtop has a number digit prefix "4" indicating that it was made in 1954. The wrap tail bridge, barrel style amber volume and tone knobs, and no line Kluson tuners support 1954 as the year of manufacture. Check out more on dating vintage Gibson guitars by serial numbers here: Gibson Les Paul Serial Numbers.
This 1954 Gibson Les Paul goldtop weighed in at 9 lbs 1 oz which is a typical weight for early to mid 1950s Goldtops. The neck profile measure 0.91" at the first fret and 1.00" deep at the 12th fret.
1950s Gibson Les Paul Value
The value of a Gibson Les Paul guitar from the 1950s depends on a few important factors: exact model (there are 5!), year by serial number, finish color, condition, and originality. On average, Gibson Les Paul values increase from 1952 until 1959 since Gibson continually updated the model with different features throughout the 1950s. Guitar players and collectors generally prefer the wrap tail bridge of 1954 and 1955 over the trapeze bridge from 1952. The Tune-O-Matic bridge introduced in late 1955 is even better than the wrap tail bridge, so guitar collectors will often pay more for a '56 Les Paul. The most significant features and years which effect the value of a Gibson Les Paul are the humbucking pickups introduced in 1957 and the Sunburst finish introduced in 1958. You can check out a few examples here: 1952 Gibson Les Paul, 1956 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, and 1958 Gibson Les Paul Burst.
By 1955, Gibson was making 5 different versions of the Les Paul including the Les Paul Junior, Les Paul TV Model, Les Paul Special, Les Paul Standard, and Les Paul Custom from lowest to highest price when new. Although the Les Paul Custom was the highest price at the time, most vintage guitar players prefer the Les Paul Standard, so prices are generally higher for a Standard made during the same year as a Custom. The value of a Les Paul TV model, although it is nearly identical to the Special but with one less pickup, is usually about the same as a Special. Gibson made far fewer TV Models than Specials and Juniors.
As a Gibson guitar collector, I am looking for all models 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitars. I may be able to help with how to date your Les Paul or how much is my Gibson worth. You can contact me here: sell a Gibson.