D’Angelico Teardrop – U.S.A. – 1957


Acoustic Hollow Body Archtop guitar


Spruce top, maple back and sides, maple neck

Ebony fretboard


D’Angelico manufactured this unique guitar for Pete Girardo who was part of the Atlantic City band The Teardrops. This guitarist wanted a striking instrument and paid D’Angelico $ 500 for it. The ‘Teardrop’ guitar was based on D’Angelico’s New Yorker model, but the shape of the body had undergone major changes to improve this instrument in terms of acoustics. After neglecting his guitar for years, Girardo took his old instrument to a guitar repair shop in White Plains in 1990 to restore it to its former glory. Fortunately, the repairman, Giuliano Balestra, had been a team principal at Gretsch in the 1960s. After this, the instrument was loaned to the Smithsonian in Washington. The insurers estimate its value at $500,000, making it one of the most valuable guitars in the world.

Last updated on 12 May 2020
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