Monday, 25 April 2016

1977 Burns "Jubilee" Flyte with faded UK Union Flag finish
As I have mentioned many times in the past on this blog, I am a big fan of the Burns Flyte guitar, even though the only time I have actually seen one up close and personal was last year when my band was playing a psychedelic festival and Nick Saloman of The Bevis Frond, who were also playing, let me have a look at his.

However, I'm not so sure about the patriotic finish on this "Jubilee" example from 1977. (1977 was the year of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, i.e. she'd been monarch for 25 years). Even though this is the original factory finish, the Union Flag - popularly known as the Union Jack but technically speaking it shouldn't be referred to as such unless flown from a ship - has been poorly rendered with very thin crosses and not enough of a pinwheel effect on the diagonals. It's made to look all the more bizarre by the process of ageing which has turned the blue background to green and the white to yellow - in fact when I first saw this I was trying to decide if it was supposed to be the Union Flag or not. If you didn't know it was supposed to represent the flag of the United Kingdom, then perhaps it'd be easier to think of it as an abstract design. Still don't think I'd like it.

Like it or not, it's still a very interesting piece. This particular example was being sold by Denmark Street Guitars in London but is marked "Out Of Stock" which implies that it has either been sold or else withdrawn from sale. Unfortunately this means I cannot give you a price or value. However, three years ago, a Burns Flyte with "supposedly" original rare red finish was being offered for sale in Germany with a price of €1444. My feeling is that this Jubilee edition would be more valuable. Burns experts please feel free to correct me!

G L Wilson

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