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To ensure that a guitar's design is completely refined before the instrument goes into production, Gibson's Custom Shop builds Prototypes. Prototypes serve as the standard reference for production models, and instead of having a serial number stamped on the back of their headstock, they have a handwritten prototype notation there. Offered in extremely limited quantities, Gibson prototype guitars have great collectibility potential.

2009 Gibson Custom 1959 50th Anniversary Les Paul - Namm Pilot Run Pre Production
The original sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard is considered by players and collectors alike to be the most desirable electric guitar ever created.

Thanks to Gibson’s Custom Shop,  the beauty of the ’Burst has been reborn in the Custom Shop 1959 Les Paul Standard, the most accurate recreation of the original instrument that Gibson has ever produced. 
This pre production pilot run guitar was made in 2009 for the 50th anniversary of the legendary 1959 Les Paul Standard.
This guitar (Proto # 1) was taken to the 2009 NAMM Show.
Only 5 Pre production prototypes of each colour are made. 
As the Pre Production guitars are used as a benchmark Gibson's Custom Shop builders hand select the best woods and pay attention to every detail.
This 50th Anniversary Les Paul Standard in Rare Light Burgundy Burst is in mint condition.

As you would expect it plays great and sounds amazing.
Created after precise measurement of original vintage Les Pauls, this model incorporates a stunning amount of period-correct detail that combines to make the Custom Shop 1959 Les Paul Standard look, feel, and sound like the real thing. In addition to several obvious features such as its one-piece mahogany neck with long tenon, BurstBucker PAF reproduction pickups, solid non-weight relieved mahogany back, and accurate rounded ’59 neck profile, other subtle but important nuances take this guitar’s accuracy even further. These include its historically accurate thin fingerboard binding that’s only .040-inch thick (which contributes greatly to the comfortable, vintage-feeling, “rolled” fingerboard edges), historically accurate 1/2-inch wire channel from toggle switch to control pocket, accurately sized back control pocket route, correct height of the binding in the cutaway, 5/8-inch heel with accurate heel shape, period-correct carved arch on the guitar’s maple top, correctly tapered headstock with tuner holes in a straight line (rather than following the headstock edge), and much, much more. Every Custom Shop 1959 Les Paul Standard comes with a Gibson Custom Shop hardshell case.