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Bigsby Solid-body No. 2 (serial no. 8 1848)

Paul A. Bigsby American

Not on view

Paul A. Bigsby, one of the first true artisans of the electric guitar, who built extravagant electric pedal steel and Spanish models for top country-western musicians. He built his first solid-body electric Spanish guitar in collaboration with guitarist Merle Travis. This instrument, the second example Bigsby made, features highly figured woods in a design where the neck is integrated within the body instead of set and glued externally. Bigsby’s scroll headstock with six tuning pegs in a row strongly influenced renowned guitar maker Leo Fender. Today, Bigsby is best known for the vibrato tailpiece system that bears his name.

Technical Description:
Chambered solid body with Florentine cutaway; bird’s eye maple body and neck, rosewood fingerboard; 25 in. scale; natural finish; neck-through-body construction with pearloid diamond, dot, and block inlays to fingerboard; carved scroll headstock with figured walnut veneer and all tuners on one side, inlaid pearloid Bigsby logo; one blade-style single-coil pickup at bridge, volume and tone knobs; metal bridge and Kluson tuners, walnut tailpiece, decorative pickup frame, knobs, pickguard, and body details

Bigsby Solid-body No. 2 (serial no. 8 1848), Paul A. Bigsby (American, 1899-1968), Maple, walnut, rosewood, metal, pearloid

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Courtesy of Perry A. Margouleff