1954 Framus Black Rose – £499
Since their introduction in 1946, Framus archtop guitars have become renowned for their stylish looks and great value for money. They also have a famous connection to Elvis Presley who owned at least three models. The Black Rose was their flagship model at the time, featuring the stylish ‘cat’s eye’ F holes and, very unusually, a ‘bird’s eye’ soundhole. The liberal use of pearloid on the headstock face and position markers is also typical of Framus style, and the name Black Rose refers to the rich dark red-to-black sunburst finish. The guitar features a solid Spruce top with Maple back and sides, a Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard and Ebony bridge, and a beautiful tailpiece with the name Black Rose engraved on it. Tonally it has a bigger sound than most archtops, thanks to the added soundhole, which produces greater response in the mids, and playability is very good with low action and a comfortable feeling neck. The guitar’s in good condition, with the kind of nicks and dings you’d expect from a well played 50’s guitar.