Fender Telecaster 1957 in Georgia
Posted on January 17 2022
As a Fender guitar collector, I'm always on the road or in the air on guitar safari trips to buy the guitars I've always dreamed of having. Last year was my busiest on record and brought about some of the best guitars I've ever had. The Reverb article by Tony Bacon about me titled The Guitar Safari Champion still feels surreal, but when I think back on it, there are some spectacular guitar safaris that stick out as having contributed to that title. This near mint condition Fender Telecaster 1957 that I purchased in Macon, Georgia is one of those.
If you've inherited a Fender Telecaster from the 1950s and are curious about its value then I'd be happy to take a look. Let's start with accurate dating and identification here: Fender serial numbers. I'd be happy to take a look and confirm the year of manufacture, and if it's a model from the time period I'm looking for, I may even be the in-person buyer you're looking for. You can contact me here: sell a Fender.
Fender Telecaster 1957
The Fender Telecaster model hadn't changed very much since its introduction as the Broadcaster in 1950. The most significant aesthetic updates to the Telecaster were the introduction of the white pickguard in 1954 replacing the black pickguard, and an update of the yellow-ish Blond finish to a whiter Blond with opaque white outer band. This Fender Telecaster from 1957 is so well preserved that its clear coat hasn't yellowed very much which leaves the finish even more white that a typical example from the same time period. The white finish really pops against the red plush interior of the tweed Fender case.
This Fender Telecaster was made in 1957 and given as a birthday gift from a wife to a husband. His children remember that day at the gas station where he worked after his military service. He played his favorite songs on the Telecaster through the tweed Fender Princeton amp for hours in the back of the station wagon. But the reason this guitar is so well preserved was because of an unfortunate farm accident in 1972. He lost an arm to some farm machinery and was never able to play again. In fact, no one played the guitar until I purchased it from his son in Georgia.
I arrived to check out the Fender Telecaster 1957 and found it to be in spectacularly well preserved condition with typical late 1950s features including steel saddles, winged string tree instead of earlier circular shaped tree, and higher logo position. Its serial number is 5 digits beginning with a "-" which corresponds to what we see here for 1957 in the Fender Serial Number lookup. I did not remove the neck heel for the inspection since it appeared to have never been disturbed. I could just barely make out the pencil date signature on the heel indicating "2/5x" which likely means February of 1957. The potentiometers indicate that they were made during the 4th week of 1957.
1950s Fender Telecaster Values
The value of a Fender Telecaster 1957 or from any year in the 1950s should be assessed on a case by case basis, but most Fender guitar collectors will consider certain aspects to be more important than others. You can contact me here if you're curious about how much a Fender guitar collector might value your 1950s or 1960s Fender Telecaster: Sell a Fender. The value of your 1950s Fender will likely depend on: the year it was made, finish color, condition, bridge style, and originality.
Fender made updates to the Telecaster and other models continuously through the 1950s and 1960s. A Fender Telecaster 1954 will be significantly different than one made in 1964, but both are valuable of course. Fender also increased the manufacturing output year over year, so there are far more Telecasters made in 1964 than in 1954. It's important to compare Telecaster guitar values to prices for similar time periods since Fender guitar collectors will generally prefer an earlier build to a later build. There may also be far more later Telecasters available than from earlier years.
The standard color for a Fender Telecaster 1957 is Blond like this guitar, but other colors were an option at the time including Sunburst (dark outer rim fading to yellow interior), or even solid opaque colors like red or blue. Fender guitar collectors are always searching for the difficult to find colors and are likely to pay more for them. The value of a Sunburst or opaque color Fender Telecaster 1957 will be much higher than the standard Blond finish.
The condition of a Fender Telecaster in the 1950s is more of a subjective variable, but on average, Fender guitar collectors will prefer an example with lower miles over one that has shows a lot of wear. Fender Telecasters are spectacular instruments, so most of them have been played a lot of the decades. It's more difficult to find one that hasn't been played very much.
Check out some other Fender Telecasters that have come through the shop: