Proving authenticity of a 1968 fender jazz bass sunburst in perfect condition

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by victor363, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. victor363


    Dec 12, 2005

    I had a question about proving the authenticity of an antique 1968 Fender Jazz Bass Sunburst in new condition which is being auctioned by my dad on ebay. I included a picture of the guitar below. The Ebay link is:

    This antique 1968 fender belongs to my dad and I helped him list it on ebay. This guitar is in near perfect condition - I know, because it has been sitting in its case for as long as I can remember. The first time I ever saw this guitar was 11 years ago - the last time my family moved. It was actually my mom who showed it to me - she wanted to ensure that I was aware of its existence and that it was worth a lot of money. I think she wanted to make sure that my sister and I knew of its value since we would one day inherit it.

    Anyways, my dad has decided to sell the guitar. Although we include the serial number on the auction: ( 227448 ), many people are worried that it is not authentic. We are getting bizarre requests to remove the screws and show a picture of what the backs look like - methods to prove its authenticity. Is this really necessary? Should we have had it appraised first? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    you can see a pic of the guitar and serial at:
  2. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I say its necessary.

    I mean, people want to know its the real thing - they're willing to pay a lot of cash for it.
  3. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    wow, that's an amazing bass.
    From a purely monetary perspective, I'd say it would be well worth it to have it appraised and authenticated. If you can prove that it is what it is, you may be able to get a princely sum for it. Also, e-bay may not be the best venue for the sale, consider an actual instrument auction at an auction house where it can be advertised ahead of time.

    I dare say that it may be the best preserved pre 70's fender bass in existance.
  4. echo008

    echo008 Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    Long Island, NY
    There is a Date on the bottom of the neck as well as the inside on the body where the neck bolts onto that would help validate that at least those parts are original and that the bass has not been refinished or whatever.... Im not sure about how they verify the Pickups but others will chime in here shortly....
    - Tom

    nice bass BTW! good luck
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    I wouldn't think of buying it without pictures of:

    neck plate
    neck pocket
    heel of neck with date stamp and neck shape code
    picture of the control rout
    picture of the back of the control panel, to make sure components appeared to be original.
    close up shots of the pots, with codes so I could date them.
    A good shot of the headstock with logo.

    I'd really like to see the backs of the pickups too.

    None of these things is bad for the bass, and will verify authenticity if it indeed is real.
  6. It's absolutely essential that you do this. There is a considerable amount of fraud in the vintage instrument world. Proving authenticity through the methods mentioned above is the only way for buyers to be sure they aren't buying a doctored or even fake piece.

    As you say in your auction, finding a looker like that is extremely rare, and as a result would definitely cause a lot of buyers to be pretty skeptical. If you're not comfortable taking apart the bass to get the required info, bring it to a good repair shop and have them do it.

    PS: If only I had the cash for that, I would snatch it right up. Good luck with your auction. I'm sure it's generating a ton of interest.
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    My advice is to spend the time and maybe a bit of extra $$ to take it to a reputable tech have them do the dirty work of taking the parts off and photographing it for you.

    You'll realize a MUCH higher selling price for that little bit of extra leg work.
  8. Bassconbeatz

    Bassconbeatz Way down low Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Porter Ranch, CA
    Unless your dad really needs the money, I wouldn't sell it. Down the road you your dad might experience sellers remorse. My 2 cents.

  9. I agree completely.

    However, here are a few authorities that can authenticate and appraise your father's bass:

    As others have mentioned it is well worth your father's while to get the bass professionally documented. 1968 was a transitional year for Fender, and if indeed authentic that bass has got to be one of the cleanest '68 Jazz Basses out there. Mandolin Brothers, Elderly, Gruhn, Norman's may have suggestions about how best to sell the bass. Good luck to you and your father.
  10. I concur, don't sell it!!

    But if selling it is a necessity, I'd cancel the Ebay auction and sell it through Gruhn Guitars in Nashville. I've bought from them and I've never heard of anybody getting ripped off from Gruhn....unlike Ebay....

    The other places are probably good too, but I only have personal experience with Gruhn.
  11. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    The "vintage" instrument market can be sketchy. Take as many pictures as possible to assure buyers.

    Might I add that is one smokin' bass, I wish I had the cash for that thing.

    I'd keep it, just due to the condition, seriously, you won't find another one.
  12. beadgc


    Oct 10, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY

    +1 on this. There is a very hot market for mint Fender basses like your dad's. Collectors with lots of money are willing to spend top dollar -- way more than your initial bid -- but only if the bass is indeed original and near mint, and only if they can be sure of the "provenance" (in other words, know the exact history of the bass). You've got both those things nailed, so you have a very desirable instrument. There are dealers who know this market very intimately, will be able to confirm that the bass is real, and probably already know of specific buyers who would be eager to buy this bass. Pick up a copy of "Vintage Guitar" magazine if you want to find other dealers who specialize in these kind of instruments. Best of luck! And -- I'm sure there are others, like me, who'd be curious to hear how much you finally sell it for.
  13. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    + 1,000,000
  14. Doug Mancini

    Doug Mancini

    Oct 25, 2005
    I recommend having it appraised and authenticated by a vintage collector/authenticator. If it is 100% straight,(original,completely stock) you have a very very nice piece. You can also go to and for a small fee, have it appraised on-line.(this would be the quickest and easiest way to get an appraisal. George Gruhn is one of the most respected/knowledgable people in the vintage instrument business). They will send you an e-mail appraisal as well as the original appraisal through the mail. You'll have to send them photos and give the serial number and where it's located, in your case that would be on the chrome neck plate on the back of your bass, be sure and tell them whether it's across the top or the bottom of the neck plate. Just click on "appraisals" when the "Gruhn" main page comes up. They tell you exactly what info they need. I would still have it authenticated by a knowledgable collector or dealer, it's always a good idea to have a couple of different appraisals for a buyer to look at and also for your records. By the looks of the bass in your photos, you have a very very clean ' 68 Jazz and I'm assuming that is the original hardshell case in the photos, which is also a plus. Be patient and I think you'll be happy with the outcome. Hope I was of some help and Good Luck!!
  15. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    wow... what does he want for that beautiful beautiful bass?
  16. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    They keep going up and up. Unless it is completely necessary to sell, I'd keep it for another few years. I just sold a '66 for $5000. I needed the cash because I purchased a house and it needed some work. Your bass, in the condtion its in, should bring a similar price. Keep it a few more years. You wont regret doing it

  17. I would recommend you to:

    1: Not sell the bass

    2: NOT sell the bass

    3: Start playing bass, unless you already do... Preferably on a cheaper instrument for a start, and then move up.

    4: Sell it to me for a bag of nuts.. :D

    That bass will increase its value, and I wouldnt sell it, and if I would I would NOT do it on Ebay! :rollno:
  18. That would not be the best way to get "top dollar" for this instument as Gruhn or any other dealer will pay "wholesale" and sell it for "retail". Not that there is anything wrong with that (it's how they make their living) but the less a dealer can pay for an item, the more the profit margin.
    In 1988, George offered me $300 for a '57 P Bass. Although it was refinished, it had all original parts in good shape. I later traded it for over $1500 in gear and cash and could have done much better had there been EBay, etc. at that time.
    You have a very nice piece with most all the original stuff and I think you'll be surprised at what it brings on the bay. If it was pre CBS I would love to have it. Good luck!!
  19. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    Victor -

    Listen to this man -- I know him and can vouch for the fact that he knows from whence he speaks.

    I don't mean to imply that others don't know but Doug is a gigging pro who owns a vintage bass or two. (Check him out at
  20. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I agree with the recommendation to pull the ebay auction if you can and go with a well known vintage instruments auction house. That bass could easily fetch five figures. That is one of the cleanest pre-1970 Fenders I've ever seen. Would you ebay a painting worth $9000+ or bring it to an art dealer?