The instrument manufacturers feel the need to offer new products. Fender is the pioneer of electric music, soon followed by the Gibson Guitar Corporation. Gibson is looking for a headliner for this development and signs a commercial contract with Les Paul in 1952.
Paul is demanding. He wants new sounds and does not accept the disadvantages of electricity including feedback. Furthermore, the television becomes popular. To avoid confusing the public, the new instrument should look like an acoustic guitar. The manufacturer also requires that the guitar is designed to enable mass production.
In 1954, the Gibson Les Paul Custom in a solid body meets such needs. The prototype, which was later nicknamed Black Beauty, is delivered to Les Paul who will use it for more than twenty years while experimenting on it many improvements. It has been carefully restored by the luthier Tom Doyle, its current owner.
Black Beauty will be sold on February 19 in New York by Guernsey's, lot 17 in the catalog shared by LiveAuctioneers.
The transfer of the Les Paul and Mary Ford Show to TV from 1954 paves the way for the cultural revolution of rock and roll.
I invite you to play the video shared by Tom Doyle in 2014 on YouTube to tell the history and demonstrate the engineering and quality of the Black Beauty.