Few guitars are more important or sought after among vintage guitar enthusiasts than an early '50s 'Blackguard' Fender Telecaster. These are the start of the Fender story in terms of solid body electric guitars, and the legacy they have left of popular music speaks for itself. Building on the earliest solid body models developed by Fender, or by any company when it comes to mass availability, the Telecaster was the first instrument to cement Fender as a household name. This 1952 Fender Telecaster is a fantastic, collector grade example from the first full production year of the Telecaster model, featuring all of the specifications that have made these early 'Blackguards' so celebrated.
Constructed from an Ash body and finished in the butterscotch blond lacquer seen until mid 1954, this body features a 'Tadeo' 11-11-52 neck pocket pencil date, dating it to November 1952, and also indicating that it was crafted by famed Fender employee Tadeo Gomez. The body cavities show all the usual router tooling marks, along with 4 pristine 'lazy Susan' pin holes under the pickguard, bridge plate and control plate, authenticating the finish as original. The original hardware is present and correct, with the black Bakelite guard showing mild signs of age and slot head screws used throughout. The original knurled, chromed plated, round topped knobs are in place, along with the original Dak-a-Ware pat. pending switch tip - usually the first thing to go missing on these vintage examples!
The neck is a typical early '50s 'D' shaped profile, with just the right amount of play wear to the rear, leaving it smooth and comfortable in the hand. The neck plate features 4 Phillips head screws, as Fender transitioned towards these up to 1953. The neck butt again features a 'Tadeo' pencil marking, dating to 11-21-52. The headstock features the original 'no line' Kluson tuners, along with the round button string tree found on early models. We believe the headstock may have been blown over with a lacquer clear coat at some point, and that the decal may also not be original. There is also evidence of oil of some kind, presumably to lubricate the tuners, wicking in to the finish at some point, with some darker golden brown areas around the tuner bushings. A new nut has also been fitted, with the original retained in the case.
The electronics are original throughout. The pots are the Clarostat brand found on a number of Fender instruments in 1952, with the only readable code showing 14023X. Both flat pole, single coil pickups are original and appear untouched, with the original cloth wire and copper base plate on the bridge. The bridge pickup height adjustment screws have however been replaced, along with the original height adjustment springs. The wiring features the original 'woof tone' set up in the neck position, with a mixture one box and one round capacitor in the loom, along with the original CRL 3 position switch. The bridge plate is original, with 5/16" brass saddles.
This guitar also includes its original thermometer case in good condition, and what would appear to be the original ashtray bridge cover. This guitar was, up until recently, owned by the same family since 1962, and would be a fantastic addition to any collection.
As with all our instruments, this 1952 Fender Telecaster has been given a full service and appraisal by our luthiers at the Vintage Instrument Workshop, and includes a 3 year warranty.