intage Harp Guitar Photographs, 
Postcards, Cabinet Cards, Advertising & Ephemera

Harp Guitar Relatives

Theorboed Lute-Guitars, Swedish Lutes, etc.

The next section features players of German and Swedish theorboed lute-guitars, in both "lute-guitar" and "Swedish lute" forms. Slightly different from the original Swedish lute, these instruments are as close to harp guitars as you can get.

Peder Stochholm, maker of lute-guitars, Copenhagen

Sven Scholander, 1896. Scholander did more to popularize the later, "false" Swedish lute than anyone. Some people still refer to them as "Scholander Lutes."

The following 6 images are courtesy of Erling Moldrup, from his Danish book Guitaren: Et eksotisk instrument i den danske musik.
Braconey Trio, with Gunnar Frederiksen on Swedish Lute Frederik Birket-Smith Achton Friis Trio, with Johan Tolstrup and Frederik Birket-Smith on Swedish Lutes.
Bokken Lassen Wilhelm Matthison-Hansen Jacob Saxtorph-Mikkelsen Lodovico Fabbri, "International Lute-singer"

           Hollow-arm "Pseudo" Harp Guitars and Mandolins

Notice the ultra-rare Martin harp-mandolin (hollow-arm "pseudo-harp" instrument) amongst the otherwise common bowlbacks of the day. 
Dickinson College Glee, Mandolin and Guitar Club, 1904

Unknown player and vintage. A one-of-a-kind (psuedo) harp mandolin with F-holes!

And another hollow arm "pseudo" harp mandolin, played by Nino Catania - Genova harp guitarist Pasquale Taraffo's frequent partner.

         Lyre Guitars and Mandolins

Washburn's Terz scale (tuned a minor third higher) Lyre Guitar, c.1890s. The Washburn Lyre model from an 1890s catalog.
Olympic Mandolin Club, with the same model.  This instrument (along with the image) in the collection of Music Folk store.
Another Washburn lyre guitar player. One Mrs. Hood ran a music store in Richmond, Indiana, and passed down a scrapbook of photographs of local musicians (including this one) to her grandson.
(Mrs. Hood's photo collection, courtesy of Don Phares, submitted by Dan Tate)
Patented in 1906 by Krueger. No images exist, but there was apparently a harp guitar version. Cadenza, Aug, 1908 Cadenza, May, 1909 A fascinating Italian-looking instrument
The Andrini Brothers in "Spanish Fantasy" in 1926, with Lawrence on a mandolira made by Antonio Ferrucio. The Andrinis as "The String Wizards" c.1926 And Lawrence on Ed Sullivan in 1955. The mandolira is still playable in the possession of a nephew!
The images above are from "Mandolins, Like Salami" by Sheri Mignano Crawford, courtesy of the author. The 2005 book contains personal stories about Italian mandolin orchestras in San Francisco - rare glimpses into the groups and their members. Available from www.zighibaci.com
Claure Dorva, of the Dorva-DeLeon Company, with a Turturro mandolira (lyre mandolin), c.1900s.
(image courtesy of the Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries)
This Filipino Orchestra features some amazing banduurria-like instruments, including a lyre version.
Normally, the lovely young women in these hand-tinted postcards are posed with common mandolins.
This is an authentic c.1800s French lyre guitar.
This appears to be an entire series with the same women and same instrument.
An Italian postcard of two lyre guitar players.
In 1955, Wayne Shanklin, the modern minstrel, recorded this album, accompanying himself on a Lyric "Behee Harp Guitar" (a lyre-shaped hollow-arm 12-string guitar from 1907-1917) And Shanklin wasn't the only Behee player to record! ...or sheet music!

          Multi-neck Guitars and Mandolins

In the March, 1906 issue of The Cadenza appeared this strange photo of "virtuoso" DeMain Wood. The contraption he is holding is a standard Washburn guitar that the  mechanical genius Wood turned into a multi-stringed, multi-fretted,  mechanically-actuated one-man-band. Even more astounding - the instrument survived, and sold on eBay on June, 2004! All the various strings appear to have been mechanically fretted - it's hard to tell from the pile of spare parts that came with it! I think that the strings beneath that long decorative cover have their own reverse fretboard, rather like the two previous patents - so I believe it qualifies as a "multi-neck" rather than as a true harp guitar.
(see Multi-neck Guitars)

This gentleman is playing Herman Levin's"Combined Guitar and Mandolin." The famous Magnolia Quintette, also known as the Byron Troubadours, play their "Byrondolin," which is very similar to Levin's instrument at left.
(image courtesy of the Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries)


  British-Lute-Harp or Dital Harp, invented by Edward Light about 1810. This is exactly the market Light intended for these instruments. This young lady holds the later 1827 Levien instrument.


Here is an outrageous double neck guitar in lyre guitar form. I presume those trumpet attachments are sound enhancement devices! This incredible instrument is a from a Calace catalog (collection of Paul Hostettor). Is it a harp-bass or a double-neck bass? I believe the latter - one fretted neck, one unfretted! Occasionally, a model is seen posing with an authentic-looking arch-lute, such as this theorbo-style instrument.

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