Epiphone FT-79 Texan Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1959)
Epiphone FT-79 Texan Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1959), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # A-1856, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back and sides, spruce top; laminated mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case. Item # 7706
The "Guitar of Yesterday" the Epiphone Texan will forever be remembered as Paul McCartney's 1960's instrument of choice for writing, recording and performing that particular tune, and many others besides. Apart from this indelible Beatle connection The Texan is the 1960's Epi-logo version of the Gibson J-50 but with a longer scale, which gives it a correspondingly tighter, more powerful sound.
This particular Texan is a very rare variation, the earliest version of the model made some years earlier than the actual Beatle guitar. After Gibson's parent company Chicago Musical Instruments bought the nearly defunct Epiphone operation in 1957, it took them a year or so to come up with a guitar line using the former competitor's name. The samples were shown at NAMM 1958 but production began in earnest for 1959. The FT-79 Texan used the body of Gibson's popular J-50 round-shouldered flat top, with a proprietary Epiphone neck and slightly different pickguard. This particular guitar's primary difference from 1960's Texans is the neck itself, built using an Epiphone NY blank, a stock of which was included with CMI's purchase of the company. This is made with a 3-strip mahogany/maple laminate with a more "V" shaped profile than period Gibson necks and a sharply pointed heel with a celluloid cap. The wider Epiphone headstock has a truss rod cover quite differently shaped from Gibson's without the "E" Epsilon logo, with the Epiphone name is inlaid at the top in pearl. The unbound rosewood fingerboard has pearl trapezoid block fingerboard inlay. The top carries a typical Gibson top-belly rosewood bridge is equipped with a bone saddle, and a tortoise celluloid pickguard smaller than the Gibson fitting from 1959. This is a very fine sounding guitar, a rare piece and definitely ranks with Gibson's finest 1950's flat top creations.
Overall length is 41 1/2 in. (105.4 cm.), 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 15/16 in. (12.5 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/4 in. (641 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). This is a very nice example, all original and relatively clean for a nearly 60 year old instrument. The finish shows the typical checking overall and the standard small dings and scrapes to the top. The largest area of loss to the finish is in the armwear spot on the top, showing a scrape down to the wood on the edge of the rim. The rest of the finish is relatively clean and there is no sign of the oft-encountered pickwear to the top. The headstock face shows some small chips around the edges. The guitar has only one repaired grain crack on the back with no touch-up added. It retains all original fittings with no alterations-not even the typical strap button added to the heel. This is an excellent sounding guitar and a super nice example of the rare first-year 1950's Texan, one of the first made with a ringing, powerful but still sweet sound and unique feel, the product of its mixed New York and Kalamazoo parentage. Excellent Condition.
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