I will simply provide the unedited George Gruhn appraisal, dated July 18, 2018:
“I have personally examined the instrument described below. We certify the instrument described below is, in our opinion, a Gibson Les Paul Model left-handed electric guitar, made after mid-year 1953.
Serial number: 3 1653. The Gibson Les Paul Model was introduced in 1952 and went through a number of design changes during the first two production years. The presence of an ink-stamped serial number on the peghead rear, stud-mounted wrap-around tailpiece and ½” height gold-color “speed-style” control knobs are all consistent with a manufacture date after mid-year 1953. This instrument is also an extremely rare left-handed model. Gruhn Guitars has dressed the frets and installed a replacement nut.
Upon examination, we note that the wrap-around tailpiece is a replacement part. The finish exhibits significant deterioration with lacquer checking, small dings, surface scratches, compression marks, edge-chipping and areas of complete loss on the top due to friction rubbing.
In other respects, this instrument conforms to the typical specifications of the model for the period in which it was made with single cutaway mahogany (left-handed) body with carved maple cap and “gold-top” finish, elevated single-ply cream-color plastic pickguard, stud-mounted wrap-around tailpiece, two P-90 single-coil pickups with cream-color plastic covers, four gold-color “speed-style” control knobs, toggle-type pickup selector switch mounted in the upper bass bout (with “poker-chip” indicator ring – as is correct beginning in 1953), mahogany neck with adjustable truss-rod, classic “open-book” peghead shape, mother-of-pearl Gibson logo peghead inlay and gold-colored silk-screened “Les Paul Model” logo, individual “single-line” Kluson tuners with “single-ring” keystone-shape plastic buttons, multi-ply bell-shaped black plastic truss-rod cover, 22-fret Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with pearloid trapezoidal inlays, single-ply cream-color binding on fingerboard and body top edges, nickel-plated metal hardware, and other typical early Les Paul Model appointments.
The instrument is currently housed in the original hard-shell case with brown leatherette exterior covering and pink plush interior lining.”
Serious buyers can message me to receive the entire written appraisal from Gruhn Guitars with appraised value.