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Has anyone ever sold a 1951 Precision Bass Recently?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Recuse Me, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Recuse Me

    Recuse Me

    Jul 12, 2018
    Has an Original 1951 Fender Precision Bass ever been sold publicly in recent years?
    I have seen what someone was advertising one for but, I haven't seen any 1951 records of one being sold. There are records for 1952 and later. I would think that a 1951 might be a little more special than a1952 and later due to the number of 1951's made compared to later years.
    Are there any thoughts on this?
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I've also wondered where all the 51s are. How many were made?
    groooooove and TN WOODMAN like this.
  3. Recuse Me

    Recuse Me

    Jul 12, 2018
    My understanding based on people who have much more knowledge then me, there were 47 made in 1951.
    groooooove and bassdude51 like this.
  4. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    Which brings us to the following list of questions:

    a) How many of the 47 have survived and actually made it into A.D. 2018 ?

    b) How many of the survivors are owned by well-off bass players who have zero intent on selling them as long as they're alive ?

    c) How many are locked in the vaults of Japanese collectors ?

    So, in reality, the chances of one of the survivors hitting the open market are incredibly slim. The price of such an example will depend on many factors - originality and heritage being the two most important ones - so I don't believe that anyone knows a "theoretical" price range for a "theoretical" '51 P-Bass.

    My $0.02 only...
  5. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    What's the difference between b) and c) though? Just the nationality of the owner? ;)
    elgecko and Yango like this.
  6. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    Nationality of the players is completely unimportant...

    It was, however, the Japanese collectors - not players - who raided the worldwide vintage market in the 90s and brought the prices of these instruments to an all-time high.
  7. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  8. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Got it. That leaves out two categories, namely non-Japanese collectors who don't play bass, and well-off Japanese folks who do, which may or may not be statistically less significant than yours.

    HELLonWHEELS Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2005
  10. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    LOL. Not quite.

    Your second category fits under one that I referred to as "players".

    As for the non-Japanese collectors, they sure do exist in all shapes and forms but definitely hold a second/third/fifty-fifth place in comparison....talk to people who were active in the vintage market 25 years ago, they'll have stories to tell...
    wmmj likes this.
  11. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    If it's really all original as they claim it to be, that's a stunner...
    JIO likes this.
  12. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    It had to be 47. 47
  13. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  14. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    I held a mint one, in the case with the goodies. Looked unplayed, in 1977. The price was ridiculous at $675. Raced home for cash, but by the time I got back to the shop it was gone. I probably would have messed it up anyhow.
    wmmj likes this.
  15. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
  16. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    @Bflat is the early P bass expert on TB. He has a very early prototype and also a ‘51 with the same body date (EM Nov 7 51) as mine. Mine was resurrected about 30 years ago with a 55 neck.
    65 Years Ago Today.................
    bassdude51, design and HaphAsSard like this.
  17. nilorius


    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    Don't think that there would be some special differences between 51' and 52'.
    gorneyg likes this.
  18. 928cat


    Aug 6, 2018
    d) How many are in attics or garages of some person that has no true knowledge of its significance.

    Yeah, with 47 made this category if greater than zero would be be small but one never knows. Old stuff shows up from time to time.
    Lobster11 likes this.
  19. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    That’s kinda like saying that there’s no special differences between Apollo 11 and Apollo 12.
    Mastermold, mcarp555, design and 4 others like this.
  20. I actually got to play one while on tour in Seattle at Emerald City Guitar’s.They had a 1951 P Bass I believe serial number 14 for sale. I don’t remember the exact price but it was in the $30k range.​

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