2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the Gibson Company acquiring the Epiphone brand, which they have continued to operate as a separate product line.
Though it now largely consists of less expensive replicas of popular Gibson models, Epiphone was once a prime competitor in the high end market. They made guitars (flat and arch top), banjos, mandolins, lap steels, basses and amplification products.
In commemoration of their Golden Anniversary with Epiphone, Gibson announced earlier this week the acquisition of a major collection of rare vintage Epiphone instruments. These are instruments previously owned by Jim Fisch, who wrote, Epiphone, The House of Stathopoulo, published by Amsco Music in 1997 with LB Fred.
Jim Fisch passed away in February 2006, and his entire collection of 160 instruments has been offered for sale through Top Shelf Music in Buffalo, NY.
Gibson has purchased 27 Epiphone instruments from the Fisch collection, which they consider to be “historically significant guitars, banjos, lap steels, and amplifiers.” They also acquired the original manuscript for the Fisch/Fred book, and audio recordings and transcripts of interviews conducted while the book was being researched.
You can see a few more details on this collection on the Gibson web site.