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1944 Gibson J-45 with Banner Headstock


This guitar is in our Hall of Fame Collection and is no longer available for purchase.

For your consideration, Garrett Park Guitars presents this 1944 Gibson J-45 with Banner Headstock

This clean 1944 J-45 just came in. Made by the Kalamazoo gals in 1944 this guitar was purchased in early 1946 by its original owner William King of Achilles Virginia in Alexandria. Mr. King, though blind was passionate about music & had studied at the Virginia Conservatory of Music. He found the large neck difficult to play but wanted it to be played and loaned to his brother in law Marquis Hudgins who kept it until his death at which time Hudgins wife returned it to Mr. King. King then gifted it once again to his nephew, Randy Carmine. In 2014 Carmine sold it to Bill Jenkins of Bill Jenkins & the Virginia Mountian Boys (Google him). Jenkins said he played it once at the Virginia Hall of Fame concert in 2016 but much prefers his old Martins and decided to sell it to us.

It is rare to have the history and provenance of a guitar back to 1946 but also rare is the maple back and sides and Sitka Spruce top. If you are a fan of big necks this one will thrill you. Loud and rich, this guitar exemplifies what folks look for in a vintage Gibson flat-top. 

Banner Gibson 45s with maple back and sides have a voicing that is unique to them only. Loud and rich with clarity and punchiness not found in the mahogany versions.

This Maple J-45 naturally excels as a Bluegrass instrument with its superb voice that complements other instruments but it also has the volume, clarity, and power to be heard and not overpowered.

Gibson's maple banner models were produced towards the end of 1943 and into '44, South American lumber supplies had dwindled as WWII lingered on, and Gibson chose to use other woods for their guitars during that time. Necks switched to maple from mahogany fairly early on, truss-rods were eliminated for about a year, but then were reintroduced by 1944, fingerboards switched from Brazilian rosewood to a species of American gumwood, the blocks and kerfings switched from mahogany to poplar, and the back and sides were built with maple rather than mahogany.

This example features a 5-piece maple and mahogany neck with adjustable truss-rod, 2 piece spruce top which appears to be Sitka, a gumwood fingerboard, and poplar blocks. A lovely wide dark brown Sunburst top, a perfect Firestripe pickguard & a dark rich walnut finish on the back, sides, and neck. The maple used on the back & sides has a flame pattern that shines through the finish. What amazed us is the truly spectacular condition. The neck shows very little wear and the frets too are in very good shape.

100% crack free, this J-45 is almost all original with only a bridge & bridge plate replacement that appears to have been professionally done in the style of late 1948 & later belly up design. The work was definitely done by someone who knew what they were doing.

The action is superb & it plays extremely well and in addition, it has never had and does not need a neck reset. This incredible sounding Maple Banner Gibson J-45 though not completely original is amazing to behold but even more so to bask in its history and the richness of its sound.

Comes with a non-original hardshell case.

FON: 2875

Condition: Very Good +

Photos of the actual guitar, not stock pictures

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