The Barney Kessel Custom was made between 1961 and 1973. It was like the regular Barney Kessel model except it had bow-tie inlays, a musical note peghead inlay and gold hardware. Around 740 were made in total.
According to Gibson the Barney Kessel Custom was "designed for the musician who requires beauty and ultimate performance. A special magnetic field in the bridge pickup emphasizes the treble frequencies and produces unusual tones throughout the entire range."
The Barney Kessel Custom model featured a carved spruce top, carved maple back, slim fast low-action neck joins the body at the 15th fret. It had a five-piece curly maple neck with adjustable truss rod. rosewood fingerboard with "bow-tie" pearl inlays. Hardware was gold-plated including the adjustable tune-o-matic bridge. The twin humbucking pickups, Separate tone and volume control. Three-position toggle switch. Gold- plated metal parts. Dimensions were 17" wide, 21" long, 3" deep: 25.5"’ scale. It had 20 frets. Finish was cherry sunburst.
The Gibson Johnny A model of recent years has a very similar design and is essentially a downsized Barney Kessel.