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1953 Gibson J 185

1953 Gibson J-185

So few of these were ever made. Starting in 1951 and running thru 1959, this year saw only 151 examples built.  The real beauty of this year and the years preceding it is that they had 2 tone bars instead of 3 which leaves the top looser and the tone really fully developed and powerful. The bracing was tall and scalloped until 1955 when they changed to shorter, non-scalloped which changed their voice.  Still good guitars but the early pre-1955 examples are exemplary. It's also the first Gibson to use this style of pickguard.  Fully sunburst finish including the sides and back, it was Gibson's most expensive guitars of this period after the J-200.  Needless to say, this is a superb example.  Solid Michigan sugar maple is used on the rims and back with a Sitka spruce top and a maple neck as well. It's all original and has a perfect set up, ready for stage and screen.  And they come along so seldomnly you might not see another for sale in this country for a long while.  

Provenance:  Folkways Guitars
                       Private Collection