1950s Framus 5/1

The Framus 5/1 Parlor Guitar is a small bodied, arched back acoustic instrument. Although the 5/1 was built in various configurations, the combination of slotted (classical style) headstock, Trapeze tailpiece and Natural finish is extremely rare.
This is the guitar model that Paul McCartney set up for left-handed playing and used during the Quarrymen and early Beatles years. Photographs show McCartney at home using his Framus 5/1 during the writing of "I Saw Her Standing There" alongside John Lennon who is using his 1962 Gibson J-160E.
There is no definitive information available on exactly how and when McCartney acquired his Framus 5/1. However, research suggests it may have been a guitar that his father (a one-time musician) owned. In any case, photographs show McCartney favoring this guitar for song writing in the early 1960’s.
The origins of the Framus Company can be traced to the old European town of Schoenbach, where violins and other fine instruments were manufactured. After World War II, the instrument craftsmen from the region were displaced and relocated to other areas. So it was that Framus (Franconian Music Production Fred Wilfer Investment Trust) was founded on January 1st, 1946 in Erlangen, Germany.
Erlangen became the central location for the displaced violinmakers from Schoenbach. However, at the end of 1949, due to the need for larger and more modern facilities, the town of Bubenreuth took over as the center for instrument makers. At the end of the 1950’s and early 1960’s, the Beat boom created a huge demand for acoustic and electric guitars and Framus focused its production on these new bestsellers.
Framus guitars were used by a number of British Beat groups, including The Beatles. John Lennon is seen playing a Framus “Hootenanny” 12-string model in “Help!” and that same guitar was played by George Harrison in the studio. Paul McCartney’s famous first guitar was a Zenith Model 17, which was built by Framus on a commission from Ivor Mairants and distributed by Britain’s Boosey & Hawkes.
The vintage 1950’s Framus 5/1 Parlor guitar shown in our collection has the same specifications as the one used by Paul McCartney, including set up for left-handed playing.62_J160E.html62_J160E.htmlframus_17_pmc.htmlframus_17_pmc.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2shapeimage_2_link_3

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A young Paul McCartney with his 1950’s Framus 5/1 Parlor Guitar.

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