Knutsen Harp Hawaiian Convertible Guitar    

This guitar is not yet playable, but I attempted to set it up for the normal "Spanish-style" playing option. The neck joint is exactly the same as the original "Weissenborn-shaped" convertible guitars introduced in the book by Noe & Most (heel scooped completely out, with two small "L" brackets). But instead of the adjustable connecting bracket at this joint, these instruments are adjusted at the peghead (Knutsen's mandolins and ukuleles of this period have this same bracket also, serving the same function as today's under-the-fingerboard truss rod). I've pictured the wing-nut secured bracket joining the two necks, and the original low ebony nut. Besides the low nut, the neck has raised metal frets all the way up to the end - so this instrument was indeed intended to be played in either convertible configuration. However, with the solid fretboard serving as a hinge, the neck is pretty lumpy - especially down at that 14th fret! The frets are quite uncomfortable also - so I wonder what the players of this instrument really used it for. As an acoustic lap steel, the bass arm doesn't get too much in the way (well, at least no more so than the hollow neck harp Hawaiians), but it won't lay flat in your lap very easily!

hcp1frontleft.jpg (27331 bytes) hcp1bracket.jpg (29202 bytes) hcp1.jpg (26292 bytes) hcp1back.jpg (26724 bytes) hcp1nut.jpg (25619 bytes) hcp1frontright.jpg (27410 bytes)

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(
images copyright Gregg Miner)

Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HCP1

                 Category

Convertible Guitars

                 Body Style

"'Upper Treble Point' Harp Hawaiian"

                 Current or last known owner

Gregg Miner

                 Year (approx)

1914-1920s

                 Label

full "New Hawaiian Family" label, white

                 Label Code LA1

                 Courses / Strings

10 course: 6 strings on neck, 4 bass

                 Frets

raised metal the entire neck

                 Scale length 24-7/8"
                 Neck Joint convertible brackets

Woods

Top

spruce

Back & Sides

sides: koa, back: koa or ?

Neck

neck: mahogany, bass headstock: koa

Fingerboard

dyed mahogany

Bridge

koa

Headstock veneer

none

Binding, trim

Top

rope

Back

none

Fingerboard

rope

Headstock(s)

none

Soundhole

rope, wood

                 Inlay

white celluloid dot fret markers

                 Pickguard

none

Dimensions Upper Bout  
Lower Bout  
Body at endpin  

                 Comments

 

 

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