Gibson Custom Shop Historic 1959 “Vintage World” 40th Anniversary Les Paul Standard Tom Murphy Aged 1999 Cherry Sunburst


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Gibson Custom Shop Historic ’59 R9 1959 “Vintage World” 40th Anniversary Les Paul Standard Reissue Aged by Tom Murphy 1999 Cherry Sunburst – Excellent Condition 9.5/10.


Probably rarer than an original 1959 burst. This is number #37 of an estimated 50-100 made. These were the first aged guitars Gibson ever made with highly accurate detail and hand ageing. For this project Tom Murphy was commissioned directly by Gibson (he was not employed by them at this stage) to hand age the very first run of guitars for the now defunct “Vintage World” store in the States.


If your jaw isn’t already on the floor with its exceptional flame top this particular ’59 historic reissue is the first year, first run and very first time Gibson ever sold “aged” guitars. At this time Tom Murphy was the only person commissioned by Gibson to hand age guitars, making numbers of these available very limited. 50-100 of these guitars are believed to exist.


Tom Murphy is re-known for hand ageing guitars. Even to this day. A whole “Murphy Lab” program is dedicated to his craft. Being a first year aged ’59 model the attention to detail is exceptional. Tom wanted the “aged” program to stand the test of time, meaning the detail and craftsmanship on these early guitars is exceptional. So much subtle detail that you really have to see to believe.


The guitar has been well cared for. It has been carefully played and put back on its stand or in its case, it does have one small mark that we believe is not factory (although you’d be hard pressed to tell) pictured by the jack socket. Other than this there is no fret-wear, significant dings, scratches, dents or damage to the guitar other than those that are from Toms ageing process. More images can be provided via our website contact form. Other than the fact the guitar is “used” the guitars condition is excellent throughout considering it is 24 years old. The only other modification to speak of is a capacitor change, to paper-in-oil black beauty capacitors from the late 60s early 70s, we believe these are genuine vintage components with the original “orange drop” capacitors included.


1999 is re-known amongst collectors as THE BEST year for the ’59 reissues. With these guitars being so highly sought after and so hard to find they are an exceptionally strong investment and reassuringly expensive. Gibson made many incredible guitars back in the mid to late 90s using some of the “old growth” best woods money can buy. The guitar sounds exceptional and plays incredibly well accross the board. It has a full feeling 59 neck profile and is a nice weight at 8.6lb, even without a lightweight tailpiece! A beautiful dark, tight grain Madgascan Rosewood tops the one piece mahogany neck. With the one piece lightweight body being capped with an exceptional highly flamed AAA Eastern Hard Maple top. The COA is included, signed by Tom Murphy along with one of his original business cards that he used to put in with the “Vintage World” orders. These guitars were originally supplied with two cases, the lifton case (pictured) and a secondary Gibson Custom Shop case. Sadly the second case is long gone.


1999 40th Anniversary saw the introduction of the following changes:

– COA issued

– Lifton brown case for R9

– AAA Hard maple top

– 57 Classic Pickups

– Orange drop capacitors

– Thick jack plate

– Thick switch plate/washer

– Amber knobs

– Refined parts positions, neck shape

– Fine knurl switch nut

– Bridge pickup moved to correct position


This one has a truly unbelievable top and is very in-keeping with the early custom shop ethos of “nothing but the best”. It is very 3D and highly unique, it is without doubt the flamiest Les Paul we’ve seen with tons of movement (also making it very difficult to photograph!). All woods are hand selected and graded with tight grain and highly flamed as you’d expect on the very best in the Gibson line.


It has a great looks and sounds superb with its gorgeous AAA maple cap and Historic parts. The tone is pure magic. It is particularly rich and full sounding while still retaining its clarity and is in fantastic condition. The guitar is supplied with a Gibson Historic 5 latch pink lined Lifton case.


Gibson Specs:

The Gibson Custom Shop 1959 Les Paul Standard Series is a painstaking re-creation of the original 1959 Les Paul. The only major change to the Standard in 1959 was the addition of wider, fatter jumbo frets which facilitated more dramatic bends. The real force of this change was not felt until the late 1960s when rock and blues players like Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield, and Peter Green began to discover the fat, warm voice of the ’59 Standard. This moment in history marked the beginning of the idealization of the 1959 Les Paul Standard as the quintessential guitar in the minds of guitarists and collectors everywhere.

Using a combination of traditional hand craftsmanship and modern technology, the luthiers of the Custom Shop painstakingly reproduce the key elements that define cool, vintage instrument-stunning looks, flawless playability, and unsurpassed tone.

1999 “Tom Murphy Aged” Historic Specifications:

– Hand aged by Tom Murphy

– Hot hide glue, long tenon neck joint.

– Thin Holly head veneer.

– Silk screened les paul logo.

– Correct pickup routing and bridge pickup position.

– Thin body binding.

– ’57 Classic PAF Pickups with orange drop capacitors.

– Gibson historic kluson deluxe tuners.

– Lightweight tailpiece.

– “Amber” coloured control knobs.

– Madagascan rosewood fingerboard.

– “AAA” grade hand sanded Western hard Maple top.

– One piece mahogany back and neck.

– Lifton 5 Latch historic brown case.

– Heritage Cherry sunburst.

– Historic parts; pickguard, pickup rings, trussrod cover.

– Bright switch tip.


Guitar will be well packed and sent fully insured with private courier. Thanks for viewing!


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1 in stock