The single control knob indicates it was made in 1938 or earlier. Rickenbacker literally invented the electric guitar and received their patent in 1937 for their “frying pan” model steel guitar that had an identical pickup. The large horseshoe magnets create a huge magnetic field around the stings. The original fry pan steels are still considered by Hawaiian guitar players the best steel guitars ever made.
This is a beautiful, problem free guitar that’s been played and has some wear from normal use. I reupholstered the hard shell case with red crushed velvet but the case is missing the leather handle. One tuner was replaced shortly after I got it. It’s slightly rusty but matches the make of the original tuners.
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