This is an astounding piece, the caliber of which even CME doesn't see often. For a player or a collector, this is extraordinary.
The Les Paul was introduced in 1952 with the Les Paul-designed "trapeze"-style tailpiece, which featured strings wrapped under, not over, the bridge. This discouraged a lot of players right away, as the arrangement made it impossible to do any kind of palm-muting effects or otherwise control the resonance of the strings.
By 1953, Gibson had started shipping some Goldtops with a newly designed wraparound bridge/tailpiece, a lightweight piece of metal that changed the tonal characteristics slightly, but provided the kind of right-hand access players were used to. This is one of the earliest such Goldtops to ship with these tailpieces, which usually don't show up until later.
Super lightweight and resonant, this guitar is one of those cases of a museum-quality instrument that you can still play and enjoy. A truly exceptional piece.