The Collector's Choice line of the Gibson Custom Shop takes the 1959 Les Paul reissue concept to a new level. Each limited edition guitar in this series recreates the specific details and character of a specific '59 Les Paul Standard. By studying the original example, analyzing, and taking digital scans, the Gibson Custom Shop is able to impart that individual personality and bring its magic within reach. While these guitars are certainly expensive (and deservedly so!), they aren't way up in the stratosphere like the '59 originals. Nevertheless, they still capture a lot of the same vibe and mystique.
Collector's Choice #11 was based on serial number 9-9025—a 1959 Les Paul Standard that has been nicknamed "Rosie" because of its unique dark cherry sunburst. Sun exposure and cigarette smoke wasn't too kind the delicate red hue on many Les Pauls, but Rosie's finish was beautifully preserved.
Here's the story from the Custom Shop Certificate of Authenticity:
"As rare as a 1959 Les Paul is, even rarer are those that have passed from their original owner to only one other. When we first saw 'Rosie,' we were amazed by her pristine condition. She's obviously seen very little sunlight in her time, which is apparent form the dark cherry finish, the precise character of which many would call 'the burst.' While some examples, from earlier in 1959, have a more raspberry tinge and others a lighter cherry, 'Rosie' represents the deeper, richer color that became the standard. She also has very little wear, with only minor checking and few, if any noticeable dings.
"Among her distinct and individual specifications is her neck shape: a late '50s "soft V" that has been scanned and duplicated to be an exact match to the original. Rosie's top-carve, as well as every critical angle and curve has been studied and replicated in great detail. To match that "quintessential" tone, two custom-wound Custom Bucker pickups were designed, engineered and built based on testing of the originals."
This 2013 Gibson Collector's Choice "Rosie" is #013 in the series of 300. It is marked "CC 11A", which means it is the "Aged" version of the model. To be perfectly honest, it's very hard to tell what marks/dings on the body are from the Custom Shop and if any are authentic. This one seems to have more aging/relic-ing than other examples we can find on the web, but the frets are pristine and there's very little playwear on the pickguard. Because of that—and considering the value—it's hard to imagine someone was careless with the guitar, but it's hard to be sure. Regardless, the wear—whether the handiwork of the Custom Shop or an previous owner—gives this guitar the vibe and mojo of a '59 original.
This 2013 Gibson Collector's Choice "Rosie" is a substantial Les Paul—one of the best we've had our hands on for sure. It weighs in at 8 lbs 6 oz, and its neck measures .90" at the 1st fret and 1.02" at the 12th fret. It includes its original case as well as all of the additional hang tags and case candy. Did mention this one is Lucky # 13??