1948 Jet 21

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by G Steven, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. G Steven

    G Steven Newbie

    1
    Jun 13, 2021
    Phoenix
    Came across this beauty about six months ago and just finished it up this morning. Serial # is 3540. I've been told there were fewer than 50 of these made? She plays like a dream and is a very good looking specimen! Anyone know what the story is on these? Are there really only 50?


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
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  2. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    Pretty cool.... too bad they made it backwards!
     
  3. Merc

    Merc Friend of Fred

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    I don’t know much about that Gretsch era. But the aged sunken lacquer gives it a cool vibe.

    Welcome to the forum!
     
  4. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Houston
    I only want to know one thing: does it sound as good as it looks?

    -m
     
  5. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    That is a real beauty!
     
  6. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Simply awesome.
     
  7. Londoner

    Londoner Gretschie

    233
    Dec 18, 2020
    UK
    Backwards is fine by me!
     
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  8. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I think that number would be idle speculation. Gretsch's records were lost in fires. So, generally the only was to even hazard a guess is to look at serial numbers of existing examples. A quick survey of easily available examples out there shows a serial number span of 3500-3628, suggesting that there was a batch of at least 150 units. And then there's another one out there with a SN of 1759, so evidently there was more than one batch. It would take more digging to answer the question of whether 3500-3650 (and this 1759 batch) were all Jet 21s, or if they were mixed batches including Jet 21s and the nearly identical New Yorkers. But Ed/Wayne may already have enough SNs in those ranges to answer that question. I'm thinking they were all Jet 21s. I've spotted 4 examples in that 3500-3650 batch, and they're distributed across that range. I'm not 100% certain on this, but I think Ed has found that like models within a mixed batch tended to be grouped together? So, if it's correct that there were two batches, one of which was at least 150 units, then I would think there were 200-300 made. But if the batches were mixed, that estimate could be high. If there were more batches, then it could be too low.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  9. knavel

    knavel Synchromatic

    991
    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    Or that Bettie's Records guy could be asked. He always had interesting views (and prices to match) on production numbers and rarity. I recall a Jet 21 was one of his feature eBay items for a number of years.

    :D
     
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  10. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I can't look at a Jet 21 without immediately thinking of bettysrecords/bevete. I think at one point he had his priced at something like $15,000.
     
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  11. knavel

    knavel Synchromatic

    991
    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    Same here. It's the first thing I thought of when I saw this topic.

    Though I thought his was north of $20k. I miss the narratives he would write. I wish I had one of them now.
     
  12. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    I agree with much of what Afire shares (as usual!). It's not clear to me if the Jet 21 models were made all as a group (2 batches) of if they were intermingled within the batches with the New Yorker (6050). For instance, it appears that #4200-4299 could have been a group of 100 New Yorkers, and #4300-4350 were a group of 50 Jet 21 units. With the data points I have now they seem like they are just adjacent batches, which makes sense from a manufacturing perspective (tooling set-ups). But with more data points it may well turn out that this was one big 150 units batch with both New Yorkers and Jet 21 guitars.
     
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