The Bluesbox Collection

1950's Jackson-Guldan "Blue Suede" Guitar

This odd little instrument is somewhat of a rare bird. The Jackson-Guldan Violin Company was a prolific manufacturer of low-cost violins, violas, cellos and the like during the first half of the 20th Century. Most were student instruments, made from inexpensive materials, but all were quite well made. Throughout the 50's and early 60's, JGV also made guitars, mostly for presentations and "theme" instruments. They were also made from inexpensive materials but, for the most part, the workmanship was first rate. Here is the company medalian, which is glued under the soundhole.

This particular model was a theme instrument, in homage to the success of the legendary Carl Perkins' 1956 #1 single, "Blue Suede Shoes". The guitar was made entirely of solid birch (like so many low-cost guitars). The tuners speak to the desire of the manufacturer for quality, since they are Klusen Deluxe, the same tuners used on low-end Gibsons of the same era. The tailpiece, as seen in this close-up of the face appears to be a modified Harmony Stella type. The top and peg head are painted gold, while the fingerboard has been left unfinished. The entire back of the instrument, including the neck and peg head, has been finished in a faux marble - electric blue with gold veins running through it, and is quite striking in a tacky sort of way. Interestingly, the guitar has a superior tone for a birch instrument, with impressive bass response.

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