Is This The First EVER Left Handed Fender Telecaster?

Could this guitar be the first ever left handed Fender Telecaster to be made?

I’ll admit than i’m not too knowledgeable when it comes to vintage guitars, but musical instrument expert appraiser Lawrence Cavalieri certainly seems to think so.

The First Ever Left Handed Telecaster

The video below shows a recent episode of the Antique’s Roadshow in which a gentleman brings along his father’s left handed Tele for an appraisal.  The owner believed the guitar to be a 1956 or ’57 model, but it turns out it was actually made in 1951 and could potentially be the first ever left handed Telecaster!

The Price is Right?

Before you watch the video, why not have a guess at what you think this piece of history might be worth.  FYI – the guitar is all original, missing the selector switch tip, and pretty well worn. It looks as though the original case may have gone A.W.O.L as well. What do you think?

Here’s the video – see how well you fared. Interesting viewing for all guitar enthusiasts!

How did you do? Is it crazy that I thought it would be worth more? I wonder what it would fetch if the guitar was in better condition!

Test your vintage guitar knowledge again! How much would you pay for this ’62 Fender Stratocaster?

4 replies
  1. Bushdoc
    Bushdoc says:

    I remember when I first saw this video on American Antiques Roadshow. Apart from my dribbling, I was fascinated. I had believed that the first leftie tele’s were made in 1953, 2 to be precise according to Fender. There is however no doubt in my mind that this 1951 is the real deal, that Tadeo Gomez made the neck (and probably the body), merely adds to its value.
    I thought at the time that the valuation of 30-35,000 was low, a similar rightie would have been that sort of money at the time, even a bit more. I think 40-50,000 would have been closer to the mark, maybe even more, to have No1, as my dealer says GFA (go find another). Today I think ~ 80-100,000 would be required to get it.

  2. Dan
    Dan says:

    He didn’t mention that in 1951 it wasn’t called a Telecaster yet. In 1950 and some of 1951 Fender called that model the Broadcaster and that’s what the decal sticker on the headstock would show. Then in 51 Gretsch told Fender they couldn’t call their guitar a Broadcaster because Gretsch had a drum kit called that and they would have to change the name. This started the “Nocaster” period. They hadn’t come up with a different name yet, so they simply cut the Broadcast part of the headstock decal off leaving just the Fender part. In 1952 Fender changed the name to Telecaster and added it to the decal. If this guitar was dated 1951 than it’s not only the first left handed Telecasters made, it’s only of the first guitars made with the Telecaster name.

  3. Count Leopold Stavinsky 111
    Count Leopold Stavinsky 111 says:

    to the guy who said golly i wonder how much it would be worth if it was in better condition. just a thought- by the same mindset of a guy who might pick up a 51 tele …a guy who might get into the vibe … maybe during creating something out of this world he might ponder the wear marks on this guitar . he might like to vibe out on the guy who left these wear marks. maybe even adhere to the fact a guitar plays better the better its played. what would be really cool is if you could get a stradavarius and then refinish it yourself …with every stroke of the sandpaper taking hundreds of years of virtual vibe… virtual atmosphere off it turning it into dust. hey hyuk hyuk how do you like my refinished violin?????


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