This is a fabulous Gibson Les Paul Historic 1959 Reissue, built in limited numbers in 1999 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the iconic original 1959 LP Standard. In 1995 Gibson launched their Custom division with the “R9” 1959 Les Paul as their flagship model. But the 1999 40th Anniversary models are considered by many to be the most accurate ’59 reissues ever built by Gibson.
This guitar has all the hallmarks both players & collectors are looking for in an R9, along with a stunning flame top, a perfect ’59 profile neck and all the detail that makes this beauty a very desirable instrument.
Carved flamed maple top
Solid one piece mahogany body
One-piece mahogany neck with original-style truss rod routing and 1959 rounded neck profile
22-fret rosewood fretboard with trapezoid inlays
Gibson 57 pickups
2 volume knobs, 2 tone knobs, and 3-way switch
Single-ply cream binding on top and fretboard
ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Bridge
Aluminum stopbar tailpiece
Original-style toggle switch washer and jackplate
Vintage tulip-style tuners
And this one is a bit unique, in that we believe this one is the only 40th Anniversary R9 from 1999 with a tobacco sunburst finish.
Here’s the story – back in 2000, a major Sydney Gibson dealer was visiting the Gibson factory in Nashville, Tennessee, when he noticed an unusual instrument. He was picking out some stock of 40th Anniversary R9 models to sell through his store, and of course they were all finished in the classic cherry sunburst witch was standard for the 1999 reissues. Except for one.
This particular instrument was sitting aside from the others because it had its own story. During the build process it was noticed that there was a small variation in the grain of the stripy maple top, near the upper area of the lower bout. There was nothing wrong with the wood, just a natural mineral stain in the flame top in one small area, about the size of a 5 cent coin.
At some point a decision was made to apply a wide sunburst coat in dark tobacco brown, which of course is darker that the cherry burst, possibly in an effort to disguise the mineral stain in the wood. The resulting colour application does not quite cover the suspect area, but you can only see it through the finish if you look very closely.
When the factory foreman saw the guitar, he rejected it and it was destined for recycling. Our Sydney dealer noticed it, and being on the lookout for something interesting said, “Hang on a minute, I’ll take that guitar.”
They agreed to the sale, and he brought back to Sydney what we believe is the only 40th Anniversary Les Paul R9 from 1999 to be finished in brown tobacco burst.
We think that the slight flaw of the mineral stain only adds to the appeal of this guitar. In fact many original 50s Les Pauls had minor mineral stains just like this one. They are simply a natural characteristic of the wood. And it is so small you have to look pretty hard to find it anyway.
This guitar is a fine instrument, and it plays beautifully. It is in excellent condition with virtually no player wear apparent. There is a tiny chip in the top finish, and one on the back. No buckle rash, no fret wear, no other cosmetic or structural issues.
Comes with it Certificate of Authenticity identifying this guitar as “a genuine 1959 Les Paul Reissue manufactured by the Gibson Custom, Art & Historic Division in celebration of the design’s 40th Anniversary.”
Comes in its original Lifton style brown tolex case in excellent condition.