Gibson Les Paul Junior 1959 Single Cutaway

John Shults

Posted on February 21 2022

Gibson Les Paul Junior 1959 single cutaway with Sunburst finish

This incredibly clean 1959 Gibson Les Paul Junior with single cutaway body style and Sunburst finish came through the shop recently from its original owner in Anchorage, Alaska! The single cutaway Les Paul Junior body style was discontinued in favor of the double cutaway and Cherry finish in 1958, but a few of the single cutaway body guitars sneaked out of the factory in 1959. It's a spectacular playing example with its original faux alligator skin case, hang tags, and matching tweed 1959 Gibson GA-9 amplifier. 

As a Gibson Les Paul guitar collector, I'm always on the hunt for the nicest examples of 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitars. I'm particularly fond of the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, but I collect all versions of Les Paul guitars made in 1959. If you're curious about finding the year of your Gibson Les Paul then check out the Les Paul Serial Number Lookup. Or if you've inherited a 1950s Les Paul and are curious about how much I would value it then check out Sell a Gibson

1959 Gibson Les Paul guitar with matching amplifier

Les Paul Junior 1959 Single Cutaway

The Gibson Les Paul Junior model guitar debuted in the catalog in 1954 as the companies least expensive offering in the growing solid body electric line. While the general shape of the guitar matched the more expensive Les Paul Model goldtop, its single piece Mahogany body with no carved Maple top and single P-90 pickup was far less refined. The Les Paul Junior's price of $99.50 (about $1,000 today) was far more attractive to entry level players when compared to the Les Paul Model goldtop's price of $225 (about $2300 today). Player's at the time saw a lot of value in the Les Paul Junior so many more sold compared to the goldtop Les Paul (19,035 Les Paul Juniors sold in the 1950s compared to 9,557 Les Paul Standards). 

By 1958, Gibson's entire Les Paul line was ready for a refresh and Gibson heard guitar players' call for a second cutaway for higher fret access. The Les Paul Junior, TV Model, and Special received a new body style many collectors and players today call the double cut body. You can check out the new double cut body style here: Gibson Les Paul Junior 1958 double cut. But as Gibson guitar collectors know, not everything at Gibson happened in a linear timeline. A batch of single cutaway Les Paul Junior guitars remained for an extra year before being serialized. This single cut 1959 Gibson Les Paul Junior is one of those. Instead of having 1959 Les Paul features like large frets, this example has a typical 1958 neck profile measuring 0.90" at the first fret and 1" at the 12th fret. It has skinny frets unlike most 1959 Les Paul guitars which have the more modern feeling jumbo frets. 

Les Paul Serial Numbers

We can easily find the year of manufacture of this Gibson Les Paul Junior 1959 by its serial number (more here: Les Paul Serial Number Lookup). Remember that Gibson serial numbers are style specific, not necessarily consecutive, and often repeated over time. This is why the typical Gibson serial number lookup websites sometimes, if not usually, incorrectly identify the year of manufacture of a Les Paul. Gibson solid body guitars in the 1950s had their own serial number scheme found on the back of the headstock: they're always ink stamped and begin with a digit prefix. Most Les Paul serial numbers in the 1950s are 5 digit, but some years in the 1950s extended past 9,999 instruments and added a 6th digit in between the year prefix and the following number. 

This 1959 Gibson Les Paul Junior has a yellow ink stamped serial number with six digits. It begins with the year prefix "9" indicating it was serialized in 1959. The following digits indicate that it may have been made late in the year after Gibson exceeded 9,999 instruments. 

Gibson Les Paul 1959 serial number

Gibson Les Paul 1959 Values

Like most vintage guitars, the value of a 1950s Gibson Les Paul depends on the exact model, year of manufacture, color, condition, and originality. If you've inherited a 1959 Gibson Les Paul and are curious about its value then you can contact me here: Sell a Gibson. Remember that there are five Les Paul models made by Gibson in the 1950s: Les Paul Junior, Les Paul TV Model, Les Paul Special, Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Standard. The Les Paul models here are listed in order from least to most valuable since the Les Paul Standard is more valuable than a Les Paul Custom. The exact model name is usually written on the headstock under the Les Paul signature unless it's a Les Paul Custom which has a large pearl inlay instead.

The next important part in determining the value of a 1950s Gibson Les Paul is finding the exact year it was made (Les Paul Serial Number Lookup). Gibson guitar collectors, on average, prefer Les Paul guitars made during certain years more than others. Here is my preferred list of manufacturing years for 1950s Les Pauls from most to least preferred: 1958, 1959, 1957, 1956, 1954, 1953, then 1952 the least. On average, the Les Pauls made in 1959 are the most valuable. 

If you're curious about how much I would value your Gibson Les Paul then you can contact me here: Sell a Gibson. I'm looking for every model Gibson Les Paul from every year in the 1950s. 

Gibson Les Paul Junior neck 1959

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