Sometimes you can’t rely on a vintage collection or catalogues to achieve a complete scope on a brand like Shaftesbury. Just like today, we have been a forward-thinking brand with an all-encompassing ethos. We have always catered to all styles of musician and sometimes one-offs or a special line of guitars is commissioned to suite the needs of a specific audience. This has yielded some of the most collectable and rare Shaftesbury instruments out there such as the Ned Callan or Del Vecchio.

In this case a gentleman by the name of Nick Clyne submitted a query about a rare Shaftesbury (model 1020) he purchased in Chalk Farm in 1972. The dealer told him it was one of six prototypes of it’s kind and never made it into full production. This is great news for us as we are absolutely thrilled to add a new Shafty to our dossier of defunct diamonds in the rough.

This is an amazingly handsome gypsy-jazz gentlemen’s instrument with a distinct Django feel to it. Sporting an ebony fretboard, spruce top, rosewood back and sides, trademark Shaftesbury ‘S’ that slithers in to the oval sound-hole and a bridge that is as dark, straight and distinguished as the Rheinhartian mustache itself, this is truly one of the rarest Shaftesbury guitars we have ever encountered. If someone has one of the other six prototypes, we would love to hear your story.


Ed Cox