I was recently sent photos of this amazing Fender Telecaster 1952 by someone who inherited the guitar. It's a great example of first year (1952) of the Telecaster model, but the third year of single cutaway masterpiece with black pickguard which was originally called the Fender Broadcaster. As a Fender guitar collector, I'm always on the hunt for nice examples of Fender Telecaster guitars from the 1950s but especially 1952. This Telecaster is located in Texas, but I buy Fender guitars all over the world. 

This 1952 Fender Telecaster is a great example of the guitars that I'm looking for. If you've inherited a Fender Telecaster and are interested in how much I would value it then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender. Or if you're looking for how to find the year by serial number then check out Fender Serial Numbers

Fender Telecaster 1952 with black pickguard

Fender Telecaster 1952

This 1952 Fender Telecaster has seen its share of playing time but has survived in nice condition. It still has its original butterscotch yellow finish that Fender called Blond (with no "e"!) and the thick black bakelite pickguard. There is plenty of wear on the lacquer on the Maple neck comprising the fretboard which gives this Telecaster a great look. The frets will likely need to be replaced, but a careful fret job will make this a fantastic playing Telecaster. I wasn't able to inspect to check that both pickups are still working. 

The serial number on Fender Telecaster guitars from 1952 is located on the bridge plate on the body instead of the neck plate like later guitars (check out this Fender Telecaster 1957). Fender serial numbers in the early 1950s range between 0001 and 5000, but they're not necessarily sequential. This 1952 Fender Telecaster has a serial number in the 4000 range, but it was made in 1952. For more on dating Fender guitars with serial numbers, check out Fender Serial Number Lookup. We can also use the neck pocket date and neck heel pencil date to find the year it was made. The neck pocket and neck heel indicate that they were roughed out on 5-16-52, but the body is signed by Davis and the neck with the initials TG for Tadeo Gomez. 

Fender guitar dating by serial number

Fender Telecaster Values

The value of a Fender Telecaster to a Fender guitar collector depends on a few key aspects: exact year it was made, color, condition, and originality. You can contact me here if you're curious about how much I would value your 1950s or 1960s Fender Telecaster: Sell a Fender. Fender continually updated the features and production figures of the Telecaster model throughout the 1950s and 1960s. There were far more Telecasters made in 1964 compared to 1952. Fender guitar collectors are willing to pay more for harder to find guitars with specific features. Fender Telecasters from 1952 are more difficult to find that one from 1964, so the value of a 1952 Telecaster is generally higher. 

The next most important part of the value of a Fender Telecaster is the finish color. Fender offered the Telecaster in the standard Blond color. A Telecaster from the 1950s and 1960s in any other color than Blond is considered a custom color. Fender guitar collectors will almost always prefer a custom color Fender over the Blond, so the values for those guitars are usually much higher. Some examples of custom color Fender guitars include this Fender Stratocaster 1965 Fiesta Red and this Fender Stratocaster 1964 Foam Green

Like most collectibles, condition and originality also factor in heavily on the value of a Fender Telecaster. Some parts are more important to value than others. The finish of a Fender guitar is the most important part of its value. Refinished Fender guitars are often valued 50% less than comparable guitars with original finish. The pickups and electronics are also very important to the value of a Telecaster. 

As a Fender guitar collector, I'm always on the hunt for nice Fender Telecaster guitars made in the 1950s. I travel world wide to buy the Fender guitars I've always dreamed of (like this 1962 Stratocaster in the UK). You can contact me here to enquire about selling your guitar: Sell a Fender

Fender Telecaster 1952 back of the body Blond yellow finish 

John Shults

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