Knutsen Harp Hawaiian Convertible Guitar    

This is a cool one!  Is it a harp guitar with five sub-bass strings? Or a Hawaiian guitar? Like most "convertible" Knutsens, it could theoretically be either.  In this case, five sub-basses seems strange for a steel guitar (only one other, HCP18 has five also).  And the guitar has metal frets.  But it has an original high slanted nut, held in place by a screw.  Like all of these instruments, Knutsen may have provided two nuts, one low, one high - either of which could be held in place by the screw.  Or, the nut these guitars are found with (if original) may have been the preferred configuration of the customer.  Note the scooped out, hinged neck.  It also has the standard four super-trebles of the Weissenborn-shaped harp Hawaiians.
But what's most unusual is, of course, the backwards 6-on-a-side Fender (or Bigsby) - style headstock!  This is a first - only one other is known (HW16, with the headstock in "normal" orientation.  The bass headstock is also a completely new design.  
Back and sides are of an unknown, stained wood.

This is also April, 2006's Harp Guitar of the Month.

hcn3.jpg (46301 bytes) hcn3body.jpg (83925 bytes) hcn3head.jpg (73876 bytes) hcn3sh.jpg (53371 bytes) hcn3headback.jpg (68960 bytes) hcn3side1.jpg (44764 bytes) hcn3neckjoint.jpg (65471 bytes) hcn3back.jpg (39168 bytes)
hcn3nut.jpg (81729 bytes) hcn3side2.jpg (39599 bytes)

Click on a picture to enlarge
(
images copyright Ed Douglas)

Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HCN3

                 Category

Convertible Guitars

                 Body Style

"'No Point' Harp Hawaiian"

                 Current or last known owner

Ed Douglas > Gregg Miner

                 Year (approx)

1920s

                 Label

C. KNUTSEN
Manufacturer of
ALL KINDS OF
STRINGED INSTRUMENTS
1542 TEMPLE ST.

                 Label Code LA9 (cut)

                 Courses / Strings

15 course: 6 strings on neck, 5 bass, 4 treble

                 Frets

raised metal to 15th fret, then inlaid

                 Scale length unknown
                 Neck Joint 2 convertible brackets

Woods

Top

spruce?

Back & Sides

unknown

Neck

unknown

Fingerboard

unknown

Bridge

unknown

Headstock veneer

unknown

Binding, trim

Top

rope

Back

blonde wood

Fingerboard

double inlaid wood stripes

Headstock(s)

none

Soundhole

2 rope rings

                 Inlay

fancy fret markers (celluloid?)

                 Pickguard

unknown

Dimensions Upper Bout  
Lower Bout  
Body at endpin  

                 Comments

 

 

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