Gibson President Dave
Berryman officially acquired the comprehensive collection of pre-1957 Epiphone
instruments on March 5th.
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE...March 2, 2007....Epiphone Guitar
will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Gibson Guitar's purchase of the
company with the acquisition of the world's largest and most comprehensive
collection of pre-1957 Epiphone instruments. The collection of the late Jim
Fisch and L.B. Fred will be officially transferred on Monday, March 5, 2007
at 10:00 AM at Top Shelf Music located at 1232 Hertel Ave., Buffalo, NY.
The collection contains hours of taped and transcribed
interviews with famous Epiphone players such as Les Paul and Johnny Smith,
hours of interviews transcribed of the Stathopoulo family, founders of Epiphone,
the original manuscript and research materials for the book "Epiphone, the
House of Stathopoulo," co-authored by the late owner of the collection and
an assortment of historically significant guitars, banjos, lap steels and
amplifiers. There are a total of 29 items to the collection.
The House of Stathopoulo
Harp Guitar (1910), front left in the photo above, is the only one known
The late Jim Fisch was a lover of jazz guitar. In 1992
Fisch learned of a book being assembled which chronicled the history of Epiphone
instruments from the early 1900's up to the acquisition of the company by
Gibson Guitar in 1957. Most of the guitars were archtop style jazz guitars
which interested Fisch. He began going to numerous vintage guitar shows and
scouring the world for select Epiphone instruments and information. His efforts
allowed him to finish the book with L.B. Fred and interview the descendants
of the Stathopoulo family. This was no small feet considering the acrimony
that existed within the family and eventually accomplished by some aggressive
detective work to determine who was paying for the maintenance on the graves
of Epiphone founders, Epi, Orphie and Frixo Stathopoulo.
Dave Berryman with Gertrude
Fisch (Jim Fisch's mother).
The Epiphone collection was maintained with most of it
on display at Fisch's home along with another 130 Epiphone instruments, fine
art and antiques. At one time Fisch even acted as a consultant for Epiphone
and its current Masterbilt series.
Some highlights of the collection include:
Epiphone Electar Spanish
Epiphone's first electric guitar. 14.5" wide sunburst
maple body with a horseshoe magnet pickup mounted near the bridge. Bound
dot inlaid rosewood fingerboard. Shows some wear but is all original and
House of Stathopoulo Harp Guitar
Rare Epiphone harp guitar with spruce top, rosewood sides,
and mahogany back. Much repair and refinishing, and may have had some major
components replaced. Labeled "House of Stathopoulo, and shows evidence of
their work. Only one known to exist.
Epiphone Deluxe 1943
Unusual example with translucent cream to natural shading.
Big 17.5" wide carved archtop with spruce top,
flame maple sides and back, multi bound rosewood fingerboard with cloud inlays,
and bound headstock with engraved floral pearl inlays. All original. Plays
and sounds great.
Epiphone Emperor Regent
Big beautiful 18.5" wide cutaway blond archtop with carved
spruce top and highly figured bubble maple sides and back. multi bound rosewood
fretboard with pearl/abalone block inlays. Bound headstock with engraved
floral inlays. Gold hardware. Epi's biggest and most deluxe guitar. Perfect
repro pickguard. Plays and sounds great. Some replaced fingerboard
Epiphone Deluxe Regent
Extremely rare cutaway 17.5" wide carved archtop with
with beautiful flame maple sides and back. Multi bound fingerboard with cloud
inlays. Fancy pearl headstock inlays. Gold hardware.
Totally refinished and restored by Top Shelf Music about 6 years ago to like
new condition. Sounds and plays great. Bartolini pickup mounted in repro
pickguard. An outstanding instrument.
The Epiphone Company, one of the premiere banjo and guitar
manufacturers is part of the Gibson family of brands and headquartered in
Nashville, Tennessee. Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models
in every major style of fretted instrument including acoustic and electric
guitars, mandolins and banjos. Gibson's digital guitar represents the biggest
advancement in electric guitar design in over 70 years. Gibson Guitar Corp's
family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias,
Slingerland, Valley Arts, Maestro, Baldwin, Hamilton and Wurlitzer.