The 1959 Gibson Les Paul is one of the harder instruments to find, with only 643 of the iconic guitars manufactured that year and prices fetching upwards of $500K. Equally as hard to find, and in fact missing, are the Gibson ledgers from 1959-60, important paperwork which document shipping records of all the instruments produced by the company that year.
Though it might be as miraculous as finding that pick you dropped on stage before your big solo spotlight, Gibson is betting someone out there has the ledgers. And they’re offering a $59,000 cash reward, with no questions asked, upon validation.
To the best of Gibson’s knowledge, the ledgers went missing from their archives around thirty years ago and may never have made the move when the company left Kalamazoo, MI for Nashville, TN in the mid-80s.
“As a custodian of Gibson, I am very excited about this search. I hope we can recover these ledgers as they contain important information about the pinnacle of our Golden Era,” Cesar Gueikian said. “It will be interesting to see where in the world they surface, given that the last time they were seen was in Michigan. While they are dusty old books to anyone else, these ledgers are part of our history, DNA, and our iconic past. These ledgers contain the shipping information, including the serial numbers and shipping party, for the most valuable guitars in history; the Gibson 1959 and 1960 bursts.”
In addition, Gibson is seeking to recover pre-1970 documents, blueprints, and unique Gibson historical assets. Gibson is willing to evaluate relevant items and individual rewards terms on a case-by-case basis. Gibson reserves the right to validate information and to authenticate materials as genuine articles prior to issuing rewards for pre-1970 items, which may include cash, Gibson gift cards, instruments, and experiences (conditions apply).
If you've got a line on the whereabouts of any of these historical items, here is the three-step Gibson validation request process for all items:
Emails must include:
a. Written description
b. Photograph(s) and/or videos of the items
c. Contact email and phone number
2.) The validation email request will be reviewed within 15 business days by the Gibson Historical Committee (GHC), composed of Cesar Gueikian, Mat Koehler (Head of Product Development), Mark Agnesi (Director of Brand Experience) and Jason Davidson (Director of Consumer Services).
3.) Based on the GHC’s analysis, the submitting party will be contacted with next steps and instructions.