Skip to product information
1 of 11

1968 Gibson ES-355 [*Kalamazoo Collection!]

1968 Gibson ES-355 [*Kalamazoo Collection!]

Regular price $18,950.00
Regular price $19,950.00 Sale price $18,950.00
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

This instrument came from our recently acquired "Kalamazoo Collection." We acquired the collection from a married couple that worked at the original factory from the late 50s until the factory closed in June of 1984. These pieces are uncirculated and mostly untouched in mint or near-mint condition ~ The collection also includes 1000s of pieces of memorabilia, new-old stock parts, and more ~ reach out with any/all inquiries!

This near-mint '68 Gibson ES-355 has certainly garnered our attention. Incredibly well kept and probably one of the cleanest examples on the planet with the slightest patina to the gold hardware and few imperfections ~ again... super clean condition! Sounds incredible, looks amazing, and is 100% Stock with factory-fitted Shawbuckers from '78. We are sure there is a story behind the mismatched parts, but we can tell you that these are the original parts and were installed at the factory! Reach out for more information on this minty archtop! Includes original hardshell case.

Check out the feature from our luthier Tyler in the ECG Newsletter:

"If you’re a follower of our shop’s Instagram, you’re likely already aware of a recent and momentous collection we recently acquired. For the uninitiated: years ago, we came into contact with the family of a married couple who worked at Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory from the late-50s into the mid-80s.

The husband was a lifelong tinkerer and collector and had amassed an incredible assortment of new old stock Gibson instruments, parts, and accessories. When the company shut down their Kalamazoo plant in 1984, whatever Gibson didn’t want to haul to Nashville was offered to their tenured employees. Needless to say, they were taken up on this offer. Hundreds of tools, pieces of signage, and other obscure Gibson memorabilia were added to the collection.

The result is an absolutely unprecedented time capsule of Gibson’s last golden age. Prototypes, one-offs, and other inexplicable factory anomalies abound. Most all are in like-new condition. This past October, we were finally able to move the entire collection in its entirety from Kalamazoo to our humble Seattle shop. The first four guitars of this week’s newsletter are from this collection, with many more to come. This breathtaking ES-355 is likely the cleanest pre-Norlin example in existence. The frets, gold-plated hardware, and finish are all in brand-new condition. No breaks, repairs, or even fading has occurred on this museum-quality piece.

While the guitar is a 1968 model, the pickups are Gibson “Shawbucker” humbuckers. While this may lead one to believe they have been changed, it is obvious these were factory-installed and are the first set of pickups to be fitted to this guitar.

This collection includes many incomplete and “carcass” guitars that have never been finished or assembled, and we believe this started its life as one of those projects. Final assembly may have taken a decade, but this is undoubtedly a 60s instrument and an incredible piece of Gibson history."

View full details