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Hallmark Swept-Wing vintage inspired reissue in Gold Sparkle

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The Swept-Wing is one cool looking guitar. One of the more radical designs that are out of Bakersfield California from the 1960s. The design was inspired by a sketch given to Joe Hall the founder of Hallmark from Ventures’ bassist Bob Bogle. Hall used the Swept-Wing as the flagship model to launch his new guitar company in 1966. As an apprentice of Semie Moseley, Hallmark guitars were obviously inspired by Mosrite designs. If you love vintage bizarre, as I do, you will love the Swept-Wing. Unfortunately, less than a hundred of these vintage guitars were thought to be made before Hallmark went bankrupt in 1968, due to few bad business deals. The vintage models are quite rare and never really had a chance to catch on with players. See more on Hallmark history.

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The Swept-Wing is one of the oddest and unique body shapes you’ll come across—though it looks right at home next to a Vox Phantom, an Eko 700 or some 1960s Asian imports. Looks like something Elroy Jetsons would have had. Hallmark Swept-Wing has an unbelievable 60`s VIBE!

Some of the vintage models were given out to popular bands in the 1960s like the Mamas and the Papas, Grateful Dead, the Baja Marimba Band, the Jefferson Airplane, the Association and others. Supposedly the only vintage Gold Sparkle Hallmark Swept-Wing made was give to Robbie Krieger of the Doors. Its claimed that Robbie actually used the guitar (hard to prove), but was obviously more partial to his famous Gibson SG. This is now owned by Deke Dickerson who has a penchant for gold guitars.

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According to Bob Shade and Deke Dickerson:
Joe Hall confirmed he had definately given one to Robbie… The Doors were not huge at the time but popular on the west coast and signed, making records and performing live. There were more 60’s LA and Bay area groups to get Hallmarks as well!

The Doors also got Jordan amplifiers at the same time given to them as well which I have seen in vintage footage and photo’s. Hallmark Guitars and Jordan amplifiers cross promoted at that time. If you speak to any artist who had a Hallmark Swept-Wing guitar given to or loaned to them, they always got a Jordan amplifier too.

This is the only gold flake vintage Hallmark Swept-Wing guitar ever seen to date. May not have been the only one produced while it was mentioned as a custom color in the vintage Hallmark sales literature, but it is certainly a “rare” Bakersfield bird. See Deke playing it below.

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Hallmark was restarted by Bob Shade of Maryland who has reintroduced the entire Hallmark line with the guidance and endorsement of Joe Hall and fellow Mosrite/Hallmark designer, Bill Gruggette. These are great quality guitars that can be purchased direct from the Hallmark website.

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Bob Shade has updated and refined all the Hallmark guitars to be more playable then the originals. Has was not trying to make vintage clones. The neck and string spacing has been adjusted, higher frets and an improved Hallmark Roller Locking with “Shade” vibrato for improved tuning stability and intonation.

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Looking fantastic and quite unique featuring a zero fret like many Bakersfield guitars, 23 medium frets, a bolt-on maple neck, and a rosewood fretboard. Guitar has a mahogany body and weighing just 7-lbs 14-ozs. The Hallmark 67 Hi-Fi pickups have a high output and offers very usable tones. These are different pickups than what comes on the Hallmark 60 Custom. Perfect for surf, rock-n-roll or rockabilly.

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Hallmark 60 Custom, Hallmark Swept-Wing and Hallmark Deke Dickerson Model from my collection

Hallmark Custom 60, Hallmark Swept-Wing and Hallmark Deke Dickerson Model from my collection

From Hallmark:
It has all of the features that make it one of the most versatile guitars ever: fast-action design with complete upper fret access; two wide range high output pickups for maximum string response and balanced tone; locking individual bridge sections for perfect intonation; the finest tonal woods available. This instrument will take you as far as you want to go.

Features:

  • Solid Body Electric
  • Fast-action design with complete upper fret access
  • C-shaped, bolt-on maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Zero Fret
  • Nut Width 1 5/8″
  • Two wide range high output pickups for maximum string response and balanced tone
  • Volume/tone controls
  • 3-way pickup selector
  • Locking individual bridge sections for perfect intonation
  • 25.5″ scale length
  • Hallmark hard shell case
  • Korea/U.S.A. built
Some Gold Sparkle Guitars from my collection

Some Gold Sparkle Guitars from my collection