1940 ES-300 VS. L5 Tailpiece

The photo to the left is of my 1940 ES-300 and 1940 L5. Both archtops made in the same year and share many similarities and contrasts. Please click on the links to view the entire gallery of each instrument. This page is for the viewing purposes of the tailpiece on the ES-300.

The 1940 ES-300 with long slant pickup made its short appearance in 1940's Supplement to Catalog AA. This mentioned supplement shows a drawing of what seems to be an L5 tailpiece (nickel plated with no tailpiece badge or gold color) attached to an ES-300. Yet, in the few photos that I can find, one in Catalog BB, 1942, a 1947 Gibson ad, and a Google search, there are absolutely zero photos of this seemingly rare tailpiece. The only tailpiece ever noted on this model, (except 1940's Supplement to Catalog AA) is the nickel plated tailpiece with the raised diamond motif.

I have searched for years and have finally come across one of the original ES-300 tailpieces that is drawn in the 1940 Supplement to Catalog AA. Perhaps it is a prototype. Nonetheless, it provides a small glimpse into Gibson's view of what the early model ES-300 was supposed to be.


The only photo that I have ever come across of the rare 1940 ES-300 tailpiece is of a featured drawing in 1940's Supplement to Catalog AA.
1940 ES-300 tailpiece (lft) and common early '40's raised diamond motif tailpiece also used on the L7 and ES-300. Note there are no tabs on the tailpiece to connect a badge, like on the L5.
Back view of common raised diamond motif tailpiece, left, and the rare 1940 ES-300 tailpiece, right.
1940 L5 tailpiece (lft) features Vari-Tone hole, gold plating, engraving and a nickel plated badge. The ES-300 features nickel plating, no badge, no engraving and a hinge. Very different.
The ES-300 tailpiece is laid over the L5. Note that the sizes are close. The L5 badge fits perfectly inside of the ES-300's, but there are no tabs to actually attach the badge, unlike on the L5.
Note the overlapped ES-300's tailpiece is quit a bit shorter than the L5's.