Photo: courtesy Thomas E. Shaughnessy
The instrument is currently an item in the Epiphone guitar collection of Thomas E. Shaughnessy, Oceanside CA. USA. So, if you want to see it, take that California trip !
“In the late 1940’s the craftsmen at Epiphone produced a one-of-a-kind guitar built to Mr. Smith’s specifications. see picture This was the only Epiphone to bear the “Johnny Smith” apellation. As Mr. Smith recalls: ” It was a little different shape than the Epiphone Emperor. The body was a little more rounded in the bouts and quite a bit more in the body than the standard Emperor body.” The original neck of the Epiphone had been damaged somewhere along the line, in shipping or something, and D’Angelico made a replacement neck for it. The only thing original on it today is the body.” (see picture below) (Fisch & Fred, pp. 212, 213)
The same unusual pickguard can be found on Emperor sn 12176 owned by American jazzguitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli. One wonders whether the pickguard has been on an Epiphone Concert before.