Fender 1975. Stratocaster Rhinestone Prototype by Jon Douglas.
From Paul Day's collection in which it remained from 1981 till 2009 and subsequently appearing in numerous guitar books and magazines around the world, including “The Ultimate Guitar Book”, “50 Years of Fender”, “Guitarist”, “Gitarre & Bass”, “One Two Testing”, “The Guitar Magazine”, and “Making Music”.
Paul Day purchased this prototype in June 1981 from Keith Smart of Weybridge, Surrey, who got it directly from Jon Douglas.
1950’s & 60’s Strats, Teles and Les Pauls are on display in Museums. The line between instrument and art is transparent. British sculptor Jon Douglas is well known in the art world. His works on display include Bronze bust of Winston Churchill, a life size cold-cast Bronze of Elvis and a licensed NEMS bronze plaque portraying the Beatles.
In 1975, Ivor Arbiter, the UK Fender® distributor, sanctioned Douglas to design a "non-boring Strat®". Douglas created a prototype Strat® body of cold-cast bronze, employing a metallic layer over a fibreglass shell. After a suggestion from Arbiter, Douglas set rhinestones into the body's surface providing the Legendary name “Rhinestone Strat”. Douglas used all 1975 Fender® Strat® parts.
A first batch of six instruments were made. According to Paul Day, it seems that two of this first production batch were sold. The other four were destroyed in a fire at Fender Soundhouse, John Arbiter's store/facility in London.
With momentum lost creation ceased.
In the early 1990’s Keith Smart & Jon Douglas planned to create a limited production of 50 Rhinestone Strats. Jon Douglas made fresh moulds for the further round. Each instrument with a plaque of authenticity and numbered thru 1-50 on the back near the bottom of the body. The artist's signature and “1975” are imbedded into the top above the input jack. Unfortunately Mr. Douglas died after completing only 27 of the intended 50 guitar bodies.
You can see #19 of these 27 1990's limited production Rhinestone guitars on guitarmotel.net as well.
The Beatles cold cast bronze plaque and Fender Stratocaster sculpture by the artist Jon Douglas, 1964.E Serial Number 10/50.
Jon Douglas was a London based sculptor whose work in '60s/'70s appeared in public places in England. He was licensed by NEMS in 1964 to produce a limited run of reproduction of his bronze plaque depicting the four members of the Beatles.
Jon has a full-size sculpture of Winston Churchill in The Savoy's Churchill room, he also has a full-size Sherlock Holmes sculpture in The Holmes Museum in Baker Street.