DATING HÖFNER GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS

Höfner instruments had no serial number until the early 1970s. But some instruments before that time had on the back of the headstock a stamped or written date of manufacture. These are guitars sold by the English firm Selmer and the Dutch firm Van Wouw.


Where to find the serial number
Look at the back of the guitar head.

With Semi-Hollow and acoustic models on the label within the upper f-hole.

If you want to know the production year of your Höfner guitar, you can decipher it with the serial number decoder, or find it in explanation about the dating system below.


Höfner serial number date decoder


Between 1953 and 1971 Höfner produced a series of guitars for the British
distributor Selmer Company. These models were often similar to the Höfner
standard range but usually had small differences in detail.

The 'Selmer' guitars were given serial numbers, usually stamped on the
back of the headstock, or typed on a label that is visible in the F-hole.


Henri Selmer                  Ben Davis

Guitars distributed for Europe, the US and other countries did not have a serial number until 1976.

The Dutch distributor Van Wouw also used a serial number system which deviates from that of Selmer.
This can lead to confusion when a Van Wouw appears where Selmer guitars have been distributed.

Van Wouw serial numbers were stamped in the workshop on the top edge of the headstock. The list below is therefore not by definition the year of manufacture, the numbers were stamped after the instrument was imported.

Import yearSerial numbers Import yearSerial numbers
 1960 1921, 2116, 2224, 2531  1964 7095
 1961 3204, 3215, 3267, 3351, 3596, 3894, 3959, 4072  1965 7598
 1962 4506, 4748, 5253, 5284, 5390, 5486  1966 8573

Hendrik Van Wouw                                                        (Serial number top edge of headstock)              

Some Höfner dealers placed their own label on the back of the head with numbers. These are not 'Selmer' serial numbers.


Selmer serial nummers
The tables below with Selmer serial numbers are incomplete and not accurate. The series are based on delivery documents that have been preserved.
These documents may have been inaccurate.

You can consult the tables(*) to determine the production date of a Höfner guitar, but you also have to take other things into consideration, such as the pick-ups and pot meters.
Also on these elements are manufacturing data that can lead you approximately to the production date of the guitar.

As you can see in the tables, there are many overlaps of the serial numbers. The different models can therefore carry the same serial number.

Archtops and Semi Acoustic Guitars
 YearCommitteeCommittee ElectricCommittee Thinline Ambassador
 1958 2564 - 2950     
 1959 2564 - 3270     
 1960 3271 - 3677  1100 - 1175 
 1961 3721 - 3744 1182 - 1257 1176 -1237 
 1962 3745 - 3792 1258 - 1326 1238 - 1305 
 1963 3793 - 3954 1327 1355 - 1411 
 1964 3965 - 4108  1420 - 1517 
 1965 4109 - 4177 1617 1518 - 1653 50 - 177
 1966 4178 - 4189     178 - 273
 1967 4190 - 4247    274-360
 1968 4248 - 4258     
 1969 4259 - 4264    

 YearPresidentPresident ThinlinePresident 66President Thinline
 1958 3480 - 5100   
 1959 5101 - 6319   
 1960 6320 - 7967 600 - 681  
 1961 7968 - 8002   
 1962 8003 - 8125 682-787  
 1963 8126 - 8308 788-962  
 1964 8355 - 8727 963 - 1059  
 1965 8728 - 8976 1135  1 - 143
 1966 8977 - 8986   144 - 273
 1967 8987 - 8996  1 - 124 274 - 360
 1968 8997 - 8999  125 - 280 
 1969 9000 - 9002   
 1970 9003 - 9026   
 1971 9027   

 YearSenatorSenator ThinlineSenator 66Senator 66 Thinline
 1958 4404 - 7800   
 1959 7801 - 9301   
 1960 9302 - 11400 1088  
 1961 11401 - 11702 1089 - 1227  
 1962 11703 - 12079 1228 - 1309  
 1963 12080 - 12680 1310 - 1404  
 1964 12726 - 13516   
 1965 13517 - 13674  100 - 194 1 - 90
 1966 13675 - 13768 1660 195 - 325 91 - 151
 1967   326 - 405 152 - 189
 1968   406 - 459 190 - 191
 1969   460 - 468 192
 1970   469 - 485 
 1971   486 - 569 193

 YearClub 40Club 50Club 60Club 70
 1958 255 - 420 479 - 650 1 - 180 
 1959 421 - 820 651 - 1158 181 - 588 
 1960 821 - 1534 1159 - 1779 589 - 1296 
 1961 1535 - 1674 1780 1297 - 1607 
 1962 1675  1608 
 1967    1 - 147
 1968    148
 1969    149 - 154

 YearCongressVerithinVerithin 66Violin Guitar 459
 1958 5809 -7800   
 1959 7801 - 8800   
 1960 8801 - 9917      - 350  
 1961 9918 - 10958 351 - 699  
 1962 10959 - 12278 700 - 1238  
 1963 12279 - 13371 1239 - 2223  
 1964 13422 - 14331 2260 - 3313  
 1965 14332 - 14891 3314 1000 - 1190 
 1966 14892 - 15141  1191 - 1293 1 - 170
 1967 15142 - 15366  1294 - 1388 171 - 200
 1968 15367 - 15456  1389 - 1398 
 1969 15457 - 15471  1399 - 1404 
 1970 15472 - 15517  1405 - 1408 
 1971 15518 - 15523  1409 - 1411 




*) Information is obtained from authentic Höfner documents.  


Also a way to find out the estimated production year,
(in the case of an electrical model) is to look at the potentio-
meters
Unscrew the plate worth the potentiometers on its mounted loose, and turn it over. There are a variety of numbers on the bottom of the potentiometers. 128KΩ of 250KΩ with a number.
With the potentiometer decoder you can decipher the manufacture date of the potentiometer. (Type for example. 250k339)



Solid Body Guitars
 YearGalaxieSuper (173)Colorama IColorama II
 1961        - 499      - 891
 1962   1154 - 1299 892 - 1700
 1963      - 3147 824 - 1156 1300 2154 - 2902
 1964 3318 - 4437 1157 - 1348 944 - 963 2953 - 3638
 1965 4438 - 4537 1349 964 - 979 3639
 1966 4538 - 4637  980 - 1001 
 1967 4638 - 4737  1002 - 1012 
 1968 4738 - 4759   
 1969 4760 - 4858   
 1970 4859   

 YearSuper Solid IISuper Solid IIIV2V3
 1961      - 650      - 1209  
 1962 651 - 773 1210 - 1838  
 1963 774 1839  2039


Bass Guitars
 YearCommittee BassPresident BassSenator BassVerithin Bass
 1959   1 - 199 
 1960   200 - 601 
 1961   602 - 643 
 1962   644 - 822 
 1963      - 272      - 168 823 - 947      - 256
 1964 281 - 321 179 - 430 968 - 1868 309 - 540
 1965 322 - 353 431 - 514 1869 - 2058 541 - 658
 1966  515 - 538 2059 - 2294 659 - 664
 1967   2295 - 2351 665 - 670
 1968   2352 - 2375 671 - 672
 1969   2376 - 2388 673 - 674
 1970   2389 - 2397 675 - 679
 1971    680 - 681

 YearArtist BassSolid Bass500/1500/2
 1960         - 1020
 1962 329 - 1160 231 - 617  1021
 1963 1161 - 1949 618      - 311 
 1964 1950 - 2250  352 - 1830 
 1965 2251 - 2275  1831 - 2511 
 1966 2276 - 2301  2512 - 3064 
 1967 2302 - 2306  3065 - 3170 
 1968 2307 - 2309  3171 - 3263 
 1969 2310 - 2311  3264 - 3347 
 1970 2312 - 2313  3348 - 3429 
 1971   3430 - 3463 

 YearBass 6 500/10
 1960 1 - 204
 1961 205


1975 - 1984
 FromTo Serial numbers
  12-05-1975  19-09-1979  401600 - 403600
  27-11-1979  08-10-1980  208624 - 210510
  08-10-1980  19-05-1981  210511 - 211740
  19-05-1981  14-10-1981  211741 - 212358
  14-10-1981  23-03-1982  212359 - 213188
  23-03-1982  17-12-1982  213189 - 214283
  17-12-1982  05-03-1984  214284 - 215676


1986 - 1999
During this period, the Hofner instruments received a new six-digit serial number.
The first digit stands for the year of construction, the second and
third for the month, the fourth and fifth for the day of the month.
The last digit is the sequence number of the guitar that was made
this day.
This means that a serial number starting with eg 8 in 1988
or 1998 has been built.
Example: 805107
This is the 7th guitar built on May 10, 1988 or 1998.

2000 to present
In the year 2000 the first digit was replaced by a letter.
A=2000 B=2001 C=2002 D=2003 E=2004 F=2005 G=2006 H=2007
J=2008 K=2009 L=2010 M=2011 N=2012 P=2013 Q=2014 R=2015
S=2016 T=2017 U=2018. This system can therefore continue until 2023 (Z).
The letters I and O have been skipped to prevent confusion with
1 and 0.
Examle: M06085
This is the 5th guitar built on June 8, 2011.