Fender Telecaster Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1954), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 2497, Blonde lacquer finish, ash body, maple neck, original brown hard shell case. This is a lovely (and well-loved) original example of a "Blackguard" Telecaster -- the guitar that put Leo Fender on the map -- built at the company's original factory in Fullerton, California late in March 1954. That was the final year of the classic "Blackguard" and this guitar retains the epochal '50-54 Tele features: a one-piece maple neck, aged "butterscotch" blonde-finished ash body, lacquered black fiber pickguard and of course the original black-bobbin hand wound pickups with a sound for the ages. The only notable difference from earlier models is the three steel (instead of brass) bridge saddles, one of many changes the Telecaster would go through over the coming years. This guitar's serial number 2497 is stamped into the bridgeplate, the unit at the heart of the Blackguard Tele. Fender serial numbers in this period are not in cumulative order; many Telecasters and Esquires from this year have numbers in this 2XXX series, which are also common in 1952. The neck heel is marked TG 3-54 in pencil, the initials are the mark of Tadeo Gomez who signed most Fender necks in this period. The body is marked 3-54 in red pencil in the neck cavity, with a circled #1 above. The parts are more closely dated than many early Fenders, showing perhaps a tighter production schedule early in the year. The visible pot date code indicates the 33rd week of 1953; assembler Mary's masking tape signature reading 3-26-54 is still intact, showing exactly when the body was wired up.This guitar has been played but not abused since it first shipped out of Fullerton probably in mid-1954. The very comfortable neck has a nice "C" profile, slimmer with less of a rounded "throat" in the lower positions than many earlier Telecasters. The screws are nearly all Phillips-head types as is customary for 1954. All parts remain original including the early pattern wiring rig; unlike many, it has never been re-wired to the "modern" Telecaster switching scheme. As originally set up there is a "deep bass" capacitor on the neck pickup in switch position #1; position #2 is the neck pickup in normal mode, and #3 is the bridge pickup with a master tone control. The neck and bridge pickups can be combined by carefully lodging the selector between positions #2 and #3, which works better on this guitar than some we have had.Before the introduction of the second Fender solid-body (the Stratocaster) in mid/late 1954, the Tele and Precision Bass were the company's most sensational products. This guitar was made shortly before the Strat launch, after which production of the earlier solidbodies seems to have waned as the factory tooled up for the new model. By 1954 Fender products had already begun causing a revolution in playing styles, shaking up the guitar world in a big way. The Telecaster had a totally unique look, feel, and sound, becoming quickly popular with country and blues musicians. In the decades since, many players and collectors have come to consider the "Blackguard" Telecaster the finest electric guitar ever made -- and perhaps the most historically important as well. Early Telecasters are universally considered one of the most desired of all electric guitars, and this is a very nice original example.Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 12 5/8 in. (32.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.). Overall this is a very nice example of a later "Blackguard," showing some general wear and signs of a lifetime of loving use. The instrument belonged to one family until recently, and a typewritten story from the original owner describing buying the guitar new in 1954 is included. It is fairly rare these days to have an uninterrupted provenance on a Fender instrument this old. The only alteration this guitar has ever seen is some very old light overspray in spots, likely intended to spruce up the long-serving instrument a bit. This was most notable on the fingerboard which is fairly heavily worn to the wood in in the typical fashion. Decades ago someone added some shellac over the wear, much of which has subsequently worn away again. We removed most of what residue remained, but the effect can still be seen in and around the divots with the wood appearing a bit darker than usual. The original tuners were repeatedly oiled long ago, which leeched into the finish a bit over time. The area around them on the back and upper side of the headstock appears to have some very light overfinish, likely intended to help preserve the lacquer beneath which might otherwise have begun to flake. This is very subtle and not apparent under blacklight but it seems to be the case nonetheless. The back of the neck is rather well-worn with some origina

Listed10 months ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more
Made In
  • United States
Pickup Configuration
Right / Left Handed
Fretboard Material
Product Family
Number of Strings
Neck Material
Offset Body
Wood Top Style
Finish Style
Body Type
Body Material
Model Family
Color Family
Bridge/Tailpiece Type
Scale Length
Fretboard Radius
Body Shape
Neck Construction
Number of Frets
  • 21
Nut Width

Reverb Protection

Simple Returns, Secure Transactions, Human Support

Learn more

Secure Checkout

Retrofret Vintage Guitars

Brooklyn, NY, United States
Joined Reverb:2015

Reverb Gives

Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music.

Carbon-Offset Shipping

Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments.

Oops, looks like you forgot something. Please check the fields highlighted in red.