Mid 1959 Stratocaster vintage guitars have a slab
rosewood fingerboard with white "clay" position
dots. The fingerboard radius of this Fender guitar
is 7.25". The bottom fingerboard is flat. Vintage
Fender Stratocasters made July 1959 and after
basically will have rosewood fingerboards. The
neck now has a very thin "D" backshape, by the
end of 1959 it gets even thinner.
Stratocaster vintage Fender guitars from mid-1959
have a celluloid "mint green" three layer pickguard
which is white/black/white. Sometimes the pickguard
of this vintage Fender is called a "nitro" pickguard.
The celluloid pickguard was first introduced to the
Stratocaster guitar around July 1959. Before that,
rosewood fingerboard vintage Stratocasters were
made with a single white pickguard with 9 or 10
During the same time period in 1959 some vintage
Fender Stratocaster guitars were made with maple
neck and a 8 screw three layer celluloid pickguard.
In order to replace the thicker and much smaller
shield previously used on guitars single layer
pickguards, a thin aluminum shield the size of the
pickguard was installed underneath the three layer
Fender used a very photo-reactive dye in their sunburst
finish of the vintage Stratocaster guitar. This caused
many 1959 Strats to fade from 3-color sunburst to
a 2-color. The photo-reactive nature of the red on the
Strat Fender guitar caused fading from ultra-violet light. The fading is noticeable up close,
from a distance it is difficult to recognize.
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Jeremy Hier is a freelance writer and regular contributer He likes to offer his advice and tips to consumers looking to purchase acoustic guitars and electric guitars