Gibson Les Paul Artisan

With renewed interest in Les Pauls in the 1970s, Gibson expanded on the original four models, exemplified by the Les Paul Artisan of 1976. The Artisan had the gold-plated hardware and multi-layer binding of the Custom, but with floral inlays on the fingerboard and peghead.

This example has two additional Gibson upgrades from 1976 and 1977, respectively: the “wide-travel” or “Nashville” tune-o-matic bridge, which provided extended intonation adjustment, and the TP-6 fine-tune tailpiece.

The model was also offered with three humbuckers. The inlay pattern, including the prewar-style peghead logo, was familiar to a world of musicians as far away from Les Pauls as one can get – bluegrass banjo players.

“Hearts and Flowers” had been a standard inlay pattern on Gibson’s pre-World War II banjos but had only been used briefly in the postwar years on the expensive Style 800 banjo. The upgraded inlays and hardware of the Artisan carried the Les Paul line into a higher range of ornamentation and performance, and it lasted in the line until 1981.