It appears that Gibson and Epiphone in the 50s and 60s had different styles of burst on their acoustics.
Epiphone seemed to be a consistent burst over the entire body, where as Gibson bursts had that dominating darker colour at the upper and lower bouts. (this is also apparent in the Gibson and Epiphone thinlines).
While at first blush the dark finish on the upper and lower bouts of the Gibsons appears black or almost black, on closer examination and in bright light it appears to be a dark brown over the red that produces this dark effect. Obviously Gibson cherry bursts are just the cherry colour.
Given that the red in the cherry bursts one sees from this period is generally still quite vibrant, it is interesting that the red in the (3 tone) bursts always appears quite subdued. Yeah this may be a fading effect, similar to that on 3T Fender sunbursts, but I think it is also that the red in the Gibson 3T bursts was always subdued.
One of the Epiphones pictured below has what can only be described as a Gibson style burst. As per Fender it seems anything and everything could have happened in the 50s and 60s at Kalamazoo.
[Please excuse the reflections, it is near impossible to take phots with out any. All shots were taken within a 10 minute period and the sunlight remained consistent throughout]
relaxing alternative to doing actual work ...