Very Rare Murphy Lab Guitar!

Lefty2play

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Here is a story about this very, very rare one of a kind Murphy Lab, heavy aged custom shop Les Paul. I Had a hunch about this guitar, so me and my guitar buying partner Ron Miller took a 12 hour round trip journey to Willcut Guitars Lexington, Kentucky. When we got there I confirmed (see pics) that this guitar was indeed, a Murphy Lab, heavy aged 1959 reissue. This is normal, but here is where the story gets interesting! On inspection the guitar was found to have aging that stops on the front headstock with no “Les Paul model” silk screen. Then on the back headstock, there is no serial number! None. It is only stamped mod. On further inspection, the control cavity says “lac test #3 with the initials “TM” and the date. It ends up that this guitar is a Murphy Lab prototype that originally was not supposed to leave the factory. Tom and John Wilford have confirmed these things. So, it is not only a prototype, but left the factory somewhat unfinished with no serial number. No one with Gibson has ever seen one leave without something on the back of the headstock at least in sharpie marker. So this is maybe the rarest Murphy Lab aged R9 to date. The COA from the Gibson Murphy lab says “no serial number”. The guitar was stamped “mod” from the mod shop and has the custom buckers designed for the CS ES335’s and sounds amazing. All the more rare and collectible. Thanks!
 

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dc007

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So it is legal for it to be sold???

It does look nice
 

mudface

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Seems stupid,.... why bother installing all the parts for a finish test prototype.

Nope.... sounds like a cash grab.....not worth a dime to me.

Probably not even factory installed parts.... "left the factory somewhat unfinished"..... sounds bogus.
 

HIDDEN

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As far I know the “approved” prototypes had a serial of 9 08xx (hard to get as they’re top of the crop) anything after was regular ML
 

Lefty2play

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Seems stupid,.... why bother installing all the parts for a finish test prototype.

Nope.... sounds like a cash grab.....not worth a dime to me.

Probably not even factory installed parts.... "left the factory somewhat unfinished"..... sounds bogus.
I get your opinion. But you would not be the popular opinion.
 

Lefty2play

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As far I know the “approved” prototypes had a serial of 9 08xx (hard to get as they’re top of the crop) anything after was regular MLMost real prototypes have writing on the back of the headstock in sharpie marker like rhis
 

Bobby Mahogany

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"All the more rare and collectible. Thanks."
Good for you if you think it's worth whatever you paid.
You probably think it's worth way more than that because
"it's rare". Your replies suggest that strongly.

I'm a little puzzled.
Sorry but I have to piss on the parade a little.
Here's my opinion:
The sheer rarity of that unfinished guitar doesn't make it all the more desirable.

The guitar is not "finished".
The guitar has a COA but has no serial number.
The guitar has a COA but wasn't supposed to leave the factory.
The guitar has a COA but has different pickups that a '59 ML.
So what is the COA worth if it certifies as authentic something that is not?
No need to re-watch Agnesi's video to un-authenticate that! LOL.
But whatever.

And finally, how would it be worth more than a perfectly authentic ML?
Because it didn't get to that stage where it could be an authentic ML?

Imagine a '65 Mustang replica with the trunk having a different paint treatment than the whole car.
A '65 Mustang replica with no serial number.
A '65 Mustang replica that wasn't supposed to leave the factory.
A '65 Mustang replica with a different motor than a regular Mustang replica car.
Would it be all that desirable and more sought after because it wasn't properly finished?
I don't think so.

But as I always say: "To each his own".
And if you're happy with your find, I'm happy for you.
There are probably people out there that agree with you.
Hopefully there are enough of those to constitute a support system
to the value of your guitar.

Have a good day!
:thumb:

P.S.: Fun Fact:
I've found a screw with no Robertson or Philips grab pattern on the head
and although it would be tough to find another one I don't think it has any particular
value, except for the idea that it's "rare".
 
Last edited:

Duane_the_tub

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Tough crowd. It's a nice top, for sure.

I'm more interested in this "guitar buying partner" concept. I might really be able to use one of those...
 

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