Larson Brothers 1912 Patent Harp Guitars

by Gregg Miner

This page includes all the specimens and images I have found to date of the distinctive "Picasso" harp guitars.  It now seems that there are two general body shapes: Type 1 is similar to the patent drawing (but with necks slightly diverged) and is seen in double-neck versions and hollow bass neck versions.  Type 2 is very similar, but does away with the larger bass body protrusion.  Some have the Maurer label (or were presented with that assumption) and at least one has the Stahl label.  Curiously, only one has the internal "parlor guitar" inside. 

The 1912 Patent 

This entire row has 6 sub-bass strings.

This specimen appears to be most consistent with the patent, yet it has no second internal body. The bass side of the body is increased. The arms arm slightly diverged. The lower body differentiation is eliminated. The bass side is again large. A fancier bridge is used. The body proportions may be only due to camera angle.
The necks are parallel or inclined towards each other. The necks are slightly diverged. The necks are very diverged.

The lower body again follows the "guitar-within-a-guitar" outline. The bass side body profile is close to the original patent, but extends in a hollow arm, as in Dyers and Knutsens.
12 sub-bass strings - though I don't know where they hid the tuners! The "necks" are parallel. 8 sub-bass strings with very custom tuners on a marvelous headstock. The "necks" are diverged.  Internal sound chamber, Stahl label.

 


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