Shaftesbury was the house brand of UK musical instrument distributor Rose Morris: in the same way Selmer commissioned guitars from various sources branded Futurama, Rose Morris ordered guitars from Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom, and sold them under the brand name Shaftesbury.
Rose Morris were already based in London, but had just opened a brand new retail store in Shaftesbury Avenue in September 1967. They handled a number of instrument brands, and had been the exclusive distributor of Rickenbacker guitars in the UK since 1964. However by early 1968 the arrangement was coming to an end. With the new shop in Shaftesbury avenue and few (if any) Rickienbackers to sell, Rose Morris quickly launched the Shaftesbury Rickenbacker-styled guitars shown here. Read more about the relationship of Rose Morris with Rickenbacker here.
The Shaftesbury guitars were first shown at the British Musical Instrument trade fair in London, August 1968. Reports of the event only describe the three Rickenbacker-styled Shaftesbury guitars: the six string 3261, twelve string 3262, and four string bass 3263. The full-body Gibson Barney Kessel-style guitar added later. This brochure is undated, but would seem to come from late 1968 or 1969. It came with a typed price sheet which suggests the earlier date. In any case, it is the first Shaftesbury guitar catalogue to be printed. Over the next few years the Shaftesbury line was expanded to include other guitars, both copies and original designs.
This catalog features the following guitars and basses. Click on the images for full size versions, or click on the model names below to go directly to that page.
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