Most collectors only want guitars in original condition with few, if any, modifications, but this particular guitar may be one of the few examples where collectors would make an exception. In addition to being a very early 1928 Gibson Nick Lucas Special with an uncommon gloss black finish and ebony fretboard like Lucas specified for several of his personal instruments, this guitar is tastefully decorated with decoupage pinup girls strategically placed all over the guitar’s body and neck. “Nick’s Bordello” replaces “The Gibson” logo that normally would appear on the headstock, referring possibly to its original Nick Lucas namesake or perhaps an obscure house of ill repute in New Orleans, where this guitar allegedly originated. The Nick Lucas model is very collectible in-and-of itself, but the decoupage decorations also make this guitar a fine example of American folk art.
The serial number on this guitar typically would date from 1926, but many early Nick Lucas Special guitars did not conform to Gibson’s serial number system at that time. Lucas played a similar (or possibly the same) guitar with a glossy black finish (sans pinup girls, of course) in the 1929 Warner Bros. film Gold Diggers of Broadway.
Serial number: 83239.
Top: Spruce, black finish with decoupage decorations.
Back and sides: Mahogany
Bridge: Rosewood pyramid pin with slight bottom belly extension
Tuners: Open gear three-on-a-plate with white plastic buttons