The Art of Aging

This is an article from Dave Hunter over at all about the history of the infamous “relic” guitar. Loved and loathed alike, it forms a huge part of the current guitar industry, whether from Fender of Gibson themselves or boutique builders tipping a hat to the glory days of the mighty manufacturers’ past.

The notion of ageing, antiquing, or distressing an instrument has existed for decades. But the Relic wasn’t really a ‘thing’ until the Fender Custom Shop made it one. Prior to the introduction of the Relic Series in 1995, fake ageing and playing wear was applied to guitars either to help repairs made to valuable old instruments match the look of the rest of the original, or to create forgeries. You could say that Fender’s famed Relics came about as a merger of these two rather contrary concepts.

And as big as pre-aged guitars have become in the guitar world of today, it’s amazing to note that according to the two prime movers in the creation of Fender’s original Relics – JW Black and Vince Cunetto – the story of how it all came about has never been told fully, or accurately. Until now.

Dave Hunter

Read the full article here.

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