1959 Stratocaster Specs: Rosewood fingerboards introduced at the Summer NAMM Show in July, 1959. They feature a rosewood “slab” fingerboard glued to a maple neck, a “mint green three-layer celluloid pickguard, 11 pickguard screws (variations exist in the early ’59 rosewood slabboards – see image below of 11-screw pickguard with inset showing 10-screw pickguard), and the string tree now has a metal spacer at the bottom.
Notes: Some 1959-1960s may appear to be two-tone sunburst due to the red having faded. Corrected in 1961. About rosewood slab boards: From their introduction at the summer NAMM Show in 1959 until mid-1962, the rosewood fingerboards were of a slab construction. The top of the maple neck was planed flat as was the corresponding bottom of the rosewood fingerboard. From 1962 the two surfaces were given a curvature, reducing the thickness of the fingerboad (compare neck date images from 1962 (slab) and 1963 (non-slab). Also note the lack of a date on the neck heel.