This is part of a huge collection of guitars we are selling for a client who’s husband passed away 3 years ago. He was a man of discerning taste and kept the collection in impeccable condition. When I walked into the room of literally hundreds of guitars on display, all top shelf, desirable, unique and some very eclectic, I felt like I went to guitar heaven. I will be adding many more guitars to the site in the coming days.
1994 Gibson Centennial Anniversary Limited Edition Explorer.
This Centennial Explorer is [number 31] of the 101 guitars made in 1994 to commemorate Gibson’s 100-year anniversary. This guitar has a nut width of 1 11/16 inches and a scale length of 24 3/4 inches. ‘All-gold’ mahogany body and one-piece mahogany neck with a wonderful medium profile. Black faced headstock with pearl inlaid “Gibson” logo and an 11pt. diamond over the ‘i’ in Gibson. ‘Centennial’ 22k gold-plated, bell-shaped truss rod cover engraved “100 Years”. Individual Gibson ‘Roto-Matic’ tuners with octagonal metal buttons. Serial number “1924 6” inked-on in black on back of headstock. ‘Centennial’ 22k gold-plated anniversary Orville Gibson Coin recessed into back of headstock. Single-bound rosewood fretboard with 22 medium frets. The twelfth fret with a pearloid banner engraved in black “1894 100th 1994 / Anniversary”, the other position markers are pearloid ‘dot’. Two double-black coil humbuckers with outputs of 7.66k and 12.94k. Single-layer ‘Mother of pearl’ plastic pickguard, with the Gibson 100 Year logo engraved in gold. Three controls (two volume, one tone) plus three-way pickup selector switch. ‘Centennial’ 22k gold plated ‘top-hat’ knobs with special ’embedded’ 100 Year Anniversary logo and each with a 5pt. diamond. Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge with metal saddles, separate stud with jeweled sterling silver serial number “1924” on bar. All hardware gold-plated. With the Certificate of Authenticity in its original gold-lined envelope, the jeweled (single 3pt. diamond) 14k gold signet ring with Gibson 100 Year Anniversary logo, and the Gibson pre-pack checklist. Housed in the original Gibson four-latch, hand-tooled black leather, shaped hardshell case with dark blue plush lining (9.50). This guitar is in mint 9.50 condition.
The first Explorer in this series had the the serial number 1894 – this one has the serial number 1924 which makes it the thirty-first guitar in the run.
Although the initial run of just some forty guitars in 1958 was commercially unsuccessful, the radical and futuristic Explorer is now one of the most sought-after instruments in the world. So much more than the sum of its parts, it’s increased body mass aids the guitar’s punchy tone, while its asymmetrical outline is deceptively well-balanced. Its playability is as ideal for complex heavy metal rhythm styles as it is for blues-rock lead work… and it looks unbelievably cool. The Explorer has been played over the years by the likes of Mattias Jabs (Scorpions), The Edge (U2), Allen Collins (Lynyrd Skynyrd), James Hetfield (Metallica), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Gary Moore and Eric Clapton, Based upon the original 1958 Explorer specifications, which were Korina (African Limba wood) body with an enlongated upper treble bout and lower bass bout, two humbucking P.A.F. pickups, 3 knobs in a straight line, tune-o-matic bridge, stop tailpiece (some with a Bigsby vibrato), white pickguard, scimitar-shaped (“hockey stick”) peghead curves to treble side, pearl headstock logo, gold plated parts, natural finish, brown retangular case with pink lining.
“Issued in 1994 along with 11 other models (one model per month) to commemorate Gibson’s 100-year anniversary. Production included 101 instruments numbered from 1894 (#1) to 1994 (#101). These limited [Explorer] guitars were released in July and included the number 6 as an additional digit on the headstock along with the year/production number designation. The serial number is a black ink stamp with four-digits, a space, then 6. Also the production number is on the gold tailpiece with the numeral ‘1’ in diamonds. Other features include: gold pickup knobs with a raised Centennial logo and diamond chip, medaliion on the back of the headstock with an image of Orville Gibson, diamond over the ‘i’ in the Gibson headstock logo inlay, 100th Anniversary banner 12th-fret inlay, dot inlays, exposed double-black coil humbucker pickups, bound fingerboard, gold Grover tuners, Centennial logo on pickguard. All guitars include a black leather-covered case, deluxe Centennial leather strap, gold signet ring with Centennial logo and a framed 16″ x 20″ photograph of the guitar (not present). The body-neck construction and pickguard layout is similar to the Flying ‘V’ 67 model. The headstock is painted black with a gold bell-shaped truss rod cover engraved with ‘100 Years’. Gibson produced these guitars in 1994 and discontinued them for 1999 when the remaining inventory was sold.” Larry Meiners. Flying “V” The Illustrated History of this Modernistic Guitar, p. 49.