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Introduced in 1932, the Triumph was the Epiphone company's best selling professional sized guitar. The cutaway version, dubbed Triumph Regent, made its debut in 1949, and was offered until the firm ceased production in 1956. Gibson purchased the Epiphone company the following year, and by 1959 had revived the model, building them on the same factory line as the L-5 and other pro-series Gibson archtops. The Gibson/Epi Triumph was given the model number A-412, and comparably priced to the Gibson L-7C. With its slightly larger body and deeper cutaway, the Triumph offered an attractive alternative to the serious guitarist.
One of a mere 29 Triumphs produced by Gibson that first year, this guitar is the earliest we've found, and shows some remarkable transitional features. Gibson had acquired a small quantity of old-stock parts and bodies from Epiphone, which were quickly expended in the initial production. The presence of solid kerfing inside the body would indicate that it was actually fabricated by Epi, and the headstock contour, fat script logo, long tail Frequensator and pointed pickguard are all old Epiphone stock. The Kluson tuners, compensated bridge and sunburst finish are clearly Gibson style however, and suggest that the instrument was delivered unfinished, and completed in Kalamazoo.