Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 42
The Eko 1100/2 and its
Eko's "Celluloid" '60s Basses
BY WILLIE G. MOSELEY
Oliviero Pigini founded Eko in 1959 to
make accordions before an abrupt decline
in interest pushed the company into guitar
production; its earliest stringed offerings
included acoustic flat-tops and archtops,
jazz boxes, solidbody electrics, and a few
Early promo referenced their Italian manufacture - a brochure from the
England-based distributor Dallas used
phrases such as "...styled the Italian way,
which has set the post-war fashion from
clothes to cars!" and "Consider the buzz-free
fingerboard laminated with woods air-dried
under the Italian sun."
The new solidbodies had "glitter finishes
vacuum-bonded on to smooth streamlined
bodies." Basically, Pigini was taking leftover
sparkle and pearloid accordion material
and attaching it to wooden guitar bodies.
The earliest incarnations had push-button
pickup controls and rollers/thumbwheels
for Volume and Tone controls on the upper
Instrument photos by Willie G. Moseley. Instrument courtesy of Joe Cutthroat and Chris Smart.
y the early 1960s, Europe's industrial bases had mostly recovered
from World War II. Many musicalinstrument manufacturers stuck to
products popular in their respective
countries, but some were innovating, especially those building
solidbody electric guitars.