1959 Hofner Committee

Carved top hollow body jazz box

1959 Hofner Committee

The wonderful Hofner Committee was one of the finer guitars available in the United Kingdom during the 1950s and 60s, a time when imported American guitars were hard to source and hugely expensive. This is not to say that the Hofner Committee was inexpensive - far from it, but it was fairly readily available, being distributed by Selmer who had wide reach within the UK and wider commonwealth countries. Today, the Hofner Committee is widely regarded by jazz guitarists, and highly prized by vintage guitar collectors. Genuine carved top guitars are few and far between and tend to be enormously expensive. Early Hofner Committees offer exceptional value for money.

The guitar pictured hails from 1959, and is a typical example from that year. Hofner Committee features evolved over the years, with changes to the body, headstock, hardware and ornamentation. This example has the short-lived black plastic pickups, frondose headstock, no truss rod adjustment, and rectangular control consul.

1959 Hofner Committee body detail
1950s Committees were large guitars, with a 17 1/2" body width, and a solid spruce carved top. The lyre-style tailpiece was a common feature on numerous Hofner guitars at this time.
1959 Hofner Committee
One distinguishing feature of the Committee is the ornate body back inlays. The back itself is quite typically beautifully quilted maple, and these two features really make for a stunning looking instrument.
1959 Hofner Committee

The Committee neck inlay markings. Earlier examples had a rosewood fretboard with ebony/pearl inlays, but by 1959 the entire fretboard was ebony.

1959 Hofner Committee
The highly ornate headstock of the Committee, with it's outlandish 'frondose' shape, binding, and flower/leaf inlays. Note also the 'Mickey Mouse' inlay at the top of the headstock, a feature only present in late 50s and early 60s examples, 1958-64. Note that there is no truss rod cover. An adjustable truss rod was not fitted to the Committee until 1960.
1959 Hofner Committee
The neck is a five-piece laminate: maple / mahogany / maple / mahogany / maple. Machine heads are individual open-gear type with plastic buttons.
1959 Hofner Committee
The decal Hofner logo on the guitar's body. Note the seven ply cream and black binding.
1959 Hofner Committee
The Committee scratchplate is made from clear plastic, and is mounted to the guitar in three places. Firstly with a bracket onto the side of the body, but also with two pins, one each into the neck edge (as seen here) band into the floating bridge.
1959 Hofner Committee

The Hofner Committee in it's original green-lined Selmer case. Like the fretboard, the floating bridge is also ebony.

Thanks to Gordon Randall for the use of these images.

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