The evolution of the Epiphone Sheraton model goes all the way back to 1958. Gibson purchased Epiphone one year earlier in 1957, and with the release of the new semi-hollow, double-cutaway 335/355 body in '58, the Kalamazoo-made Sheraton featured the same body shape and construction. While those early Sheratons shared the same body as the iconic Gibson ES-335, their unique stylings borrowed from the New York Epiphone tradition. They also had Epiphone-style NY mini-humbuckers and the "Frequensator" trapeze tailpiece.
By 1986, Epiphone's production was all overseas, and (as they do to this day) Gibson primarily used the company to produce cost-effective, imported versions of American-made classics. That year, they introduced the Sheraton II, which more closely matches traditional ES-335 specs because it has full-size, Gibson-style humbuckers and a stop bar tailpiece. With these improvements and an affordable price tag, the Sheraton II is a no-brainer. But with the Tree of Life inlay on the peghead and abalone/pearl V block inlays on the fingerboard, the Sheraton II brings style and details you'll never find on a 335.
Through 1988, the Sheraton II was made in Korea by the Samick corporation. Seizing to capitalize on the the Gibson connection, that first iteration of the Sheraton II feature a rare "Epiphone by Gibson" inlay on the headstock. That detail only lasted for those first three years and was never revisited. Although the specs are pretty much the same as the modern Made-in-China examples, the Made-in-Korea Sheraton II has unique appeal and collectibility.
This 1988 Korean-made Sheraton II features a Natural finish. It's in nice condition for its age, and it's a great player. The plating on the gold hardware is pretty faded, and the Epiphone Epsilon on the pickguard is worn, too. One of the knobs was replaced, and there's a ~2"-long scar on the top edge of the binding, right by the input jack in that location. The nut has been replaced, and the fingerboard binding has cracked art various fret ends (totally cosmetic, see photos). It shows some authentic patina, and is 1988 considered vintage now?
Overall, this '88 Sheraton II a fun guitar with a lot of vibe. It's hard not to love the "Epiphone by Gibson" inlay on the headstock. Roadrunner ABS hardshell case included.