Gibson has announced a new initiative called the Certified Vintage program.
In essence, the storied company is now selling some of the most valuable, high-quality vintage electric guitars in its vault direct to consumers. Each of the guitars will be sold via the Gibson Garage in Nashville, and will come with with a detailed letter of appraisal from Gibson confirming the provenance and history of the instrument, a certificate of authenticity, exclusive case candy, and a lifetime limited warranty.
Indeed, the first batch of Gibson Certified Vintage models to go up for sale – unveiled by the company today (February 28) – suggest Gibson isn't messing around when it refers to these vintage models as "blue-chip" guitars.
Among the lot is a "'Burst" – 1959 Les Paul Standard serial #9 0871. Said to be in "outstanding" condition, the guitar has – according to Gibson – "been played by numerous celebrity musicians" and has also been used as a "benchmark" for the company's Custom’s Historic reissue and Murphy Lab programs.
Also on offer as part of the inaugural Certified Vintage collection is a 1961 Les Paul SG Standard that's said to also be in "outstanding" condition.
Boasting its original Sideways Vibrola and Les Paul truss rod cover, the guitar is a rare example of what would become simply the SG Standard, produced before Les Paul requested his name be removed from the instrument.
“Today marks a milestone for all of us at Gibson – with the launch of Gibson Certified Vintage we are changing vintage guitar collecting forever,” Gibson Brand President Cesar Gueikian said in a statement.
“We are contacted on a daily basis by buyers and sellers of vintage Gibson guitars to certify the authenticity of the guitars they’re buying or selling. As a collector of vintage guitars, particularly vintage Gibson guitars, I would’ve loved to have this service by Gibson for assurance and the peace of mind to buy with confidence.
"By launching our very own Gibson Certified Vintage program we’ve solved this once and for all and collectors will have an absolute level of certainty when buying directly from Gibson Certified Vintage.”
“We are excited to announce the world-first initiative Gibson Certified Vintage, launching with the sale of these five rare guitars,” added Gibson's Director of Brand Experience, Mark Agnesi. “Gibson Certified Vintage will see Gibson continually curate and exclusively release an assortment of coveted vintage instruments, sold directly through the Gibson Garage, and offered with a certificate of authenticity, new lifetime warranty, and other bespoke case candy.”
Exact price information for the first batch of Gibson Certified Vintage models – a group that also includes a 1959 ES-355 and a 1956 Les Paul Junior – must be verified with the company itself, but it's safe to say that they probably won't come cheap.
Buyers of the 'Burst and ES-335 will also be invited to visit the Gibson Garage for a private, guided tour of the Gibson vault.
As of press time, the Moderne, Les Paul Junior and Les Paul SG Standard appear to have already been sold, but should you be interested in the ES-335 or 'Burst – or want to learn more about the Certified Vintage program – visit Gibson.