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1951 Gibson CF-100 “Vanessa”

Allow us to introduce you to our girlfriend, Vanessa.  My oh my is she a dancer! Seems sometimes a guitar just names itself. And Vanessa (the namesake) must have done something very special to get her name on the front of this 1951 CF-100…but we’ll leave those thoughts to your imagination.

Our last CF-100 sold before we could post it on the web site. This rare and fancy model, made only during the 1950’s, is one of the most requested guitars we are asked to track down for players. The distinctive style and  playability of these cutaways, and the association with the likes of Roy Bookbinder, Jackson Browne and Leon Redbone are just some of the characteristics that make this model so extremely popular. With only about 1600 produced, it’s also highly collectable.

Structurally, this 1951 guitar is in excellent health with none of the top problems that seem to plague this model. The top is flat and stable with no sound hole distortion. Our inspection revealed evidence of typical re glued braces in the past, along with a single repaired crack on the back. Florida luthier Ross Teigen set the guitar up with an intonation correct bone saddle with twelfth fret action at 4/32″ and 3/32″. The original no-line Kluson tuners are back on the guitar and cover up a couple of extra screw holes. Original bridge and bridge plate. Lovely sunburst with typical lacquer checking.

These cf100s have a more focused sound, with less bass so you can play fingerstyle comfortably. Still plenty of volume for strumming and flatpicking – louder than you would expect. The cutaway does not seem to take away from the sound at all, in fact, the two of these I have had both sounded as good or better than the LG-2s and LG-3s (non cutaway) that I’ve compared them with. Plus the added bling of the inlay and headstock crown makes for a great stage guitar.

Don’t miss a chance to pick up an early and fine sounding example of this model. Just like Vanessa we imagine to have been, this girl is a real looker as well …with the rare fire stripe pick guard that still pops up occasionally into the 50’s, Les Paul fingerboard inlays, and a crown on the headstock to top it all off.

Take her for a dance only if you dare!

Enjoy Frank Corso on the videos.

  • Year: 1951
  • Manufacturer: Gibson
  • Model: CF100
  • Case: New Vintage Style Hard
  • Color: Shade Top
  • Condition: Cool Mojo!!!