The very first Gibson Les Paul production model owned by Les Paul is going up for auction at Christie’s Exceptional Sales lot in New York, on October 13. Gibson Les Paul models from the ’50s already command high prices, and since this particular Les Paul was not only owned by Les Paul himself, but may also be the first production model ever, expect a bidding war.
Les Paul ‘Number One’
Les Paul received the guitar he called his ‘Number One’ sometime around 1951 or 1952: the first production model of the Gibson Les Paul. With such an illustrious history, I can only imagine that it will raise a lot of money at auction.
Les chose the goldtop finish for the new Gibson guitar, which was based on his original concept of ‘The Log‘. Although now considered a very important part of electric guitar history, Gibson initially dismissed the Log model. The original Log was made using Epiphone and Gibson parts bolted to a hunk of wood as a center block. That’s how it got its famous nickname.
Les Paul’s first-ever Gibson 1952 Les Paul
This 1952 Gibson Les Paul production model still had plenty of Paul’s innovations such as the Kauffman Vibrola with sideways control, a cold-rolled steel bar bridge, and two output jacks. Les also modified both the pickups.
He went for a low impedance neck pickup, and rewound the bridge pickup using a heavy gauge low impedance wire. It also has a phantom Q-Coil for humbucking tones, which can be engaged via an L-style switch. Controls include two chickenhead knobs, and a custom clickable two-position switch that toggles between the output jacks.
Les Paul’s ‘Number One’ Gibson Les Paul will be auctioned off as part of Christie’s New York’s Exceptional Sales lot on October 13, 2021. Its estimated value is somewhere around $100,000-150,000, but we think it might raise a lot more, as it is truly a one-of-a-kind guitar with a well-documented history. It is, after all, Les Paul’s first Les Paul.