1952 Fender Telecaster Blackguard geekfest

1952 Blackguard

I am  posting some pictures of a 1952 Fender Telecaster. I have the wonderful book called The Blackguard by Nacho Baños and after reading it, I have really become intrigued with the Telecaster. It is the longest running production electric guitar. What I think is the most fascinating is Leo Fender got it completely right at the very start. The guitar is an incredible example of genius simplicity. It’s also one of the most versatile guitars every made. You see it in the hands of rockers, jazz dudes, heavy metal, country and polka bands.

In Nacho’s book, he takes the guitars apart and photographs the minutia of them. I have done that here, inspired by Nacho. I hope you enjoy the wonderful pictures taken by my lovely wife, Julie Kerr.

Here’s a shot of the original case the guitar came with. It’s unofficially known as the “thermometer” case because of its shape. In mid 1953, Fender switched to the “poodle” case, which looks very similar to this one, but one side is flat.

Here’s where the geekfest begins. The case details.

Here are some hardware shots. I love the way the metal parts have rusted. Many people have tried to replicate the patina on old metal parts to look like this. I have found the secret. Carry it around for 60 years.

Case Latch



Repeat 10 times. A case is not an ashtray. A case is not an ashtray…

Bottoms Up.

Lets have peek inside.

Case pocket closed.

Case pocket open.

Opening the Tomb.

Tomb open.

Parked in the garage.

Backed into the garage.

Here’s the guitar out of the case.

Next up are some close ups of the guitar. I love the details of such an old instrument. There is beauty in the details.

Strap Button.

Milled jack cup.

Bridge and Saddles and Rust.

Gas and Brake.

Well worn back.

Here’s the result of 60 years of keeping your pants up with a belt buckle with deer horns sticking out.


Unusual wear pattern.

String holes.

String holes close.

Poor Telecaster needing help standing up after a wild night out.

Cutaway wear.

More honest wear.

Neck plate and screws.

Neck pocket

Cool wear at the end of the fingerboard.

Open top Dakaware switch tip,

Back of neck

Underside of neck with greasy fried chicked stains.

Close up of greasy fried chicked stains.



Side of headstock.


4 Responses to “1952 Fender Telecaster Blackguard geekfest”

  • Jose Says:

    Fantastic pictures!! you are a lucky man :)

  • Lee Says:

    Great guitar Craig! Is that one in the Blackguard Book? If not, it should be.

  • Ed Says:

    WOW…….beautiful guitar……..you can be very proud…………

  • Patrick Says:

    Wow, what a nice piece! I’ve got a ’52 Tele. However, the damage was so bad cosmetically I sanded it down to the bare wood. I did use a fine paper as not to take out the wear. I have the neck and body and some parts. What would you think it would be worth today as is? I’m thinking about sending it to Fender to fully restore it but have cancer and my bills are outrageous.

    God Bless

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