Knutsen Convertible Hawaiian Guitar    

This is a fascinating instrument!
It came from a reputable dealer, who acquired it from the grandson of the original owner. According to the grandson, his grandmother was a stage performer who came to Los Angeles to ask one of the many Hawaiian guitar builders to build something flashy for the stage. 
And who better than Knutsen for a custom instrument?! 
Nice wood, fancy inlays, and birdseye headstock veneer, complete with inlaid faux cabochon stones. 
What's really interesting though is that, though it's technically a convertible style guitar, the bracket is screwed firmly in place at both ends, and the guitar has only inlaid flush frets. Yet, strangely, the bone nut is low.
Luthier and Knutsen expert Kerry Char agrees with me that the brackets of this type were probably for a one-time, initial adjustment to set the proper neck angle (rather than for back and forth converting). HCW1 (p.52-55 in the Noe/Most book) has a similar, permanently installed bracket (but metal frets).
Additionally, the back braces are horizontal rather than Knutsen's standard angled braces.

hcw4.jpg (23113 bytes) hcw4fretboard.jpg (25272 bytes) hcw4bracket.jpg (19663 bytes) hcw4head.jpg (23885 bytes) hcw4frontright.jpg (24427 bytes) hcw4back.jpg (22380 bytes)

Click on a picture to enlarge
(image copyright Gregg Miner)

Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HCW4

                 Category

Convertible Guitars

                 Body Style

"Weissenborn-shaped"

                 Current or last known owner

Jonathan Kellerman

                 Year (approx)

?

                 Label

none

                 Courses / Strings

6 strings

                 Frets

inlaid wood

                 Scale length 25-5/8"
                 Neck Joint once-adjustable convertible bracket, neck ends middle of 7th fret

Woods

Top

koa

Back & Sides

koa

Neck

mahogany

Fingerboard

koa

Bridge

koa

Headstock veneer

unknown birdseye 

Binding, trim

Top

maple?

Back

maple?

Fingerboard

ivoroid

Headstock(s)

none

Soundhole

herringbone, multi-colored wood 

                    Inlay

fancy pearl fret markers, faux cabochon stones in headstock

                    Pickguard

none

Dimensions Upper Bout 9-7/8"
Lower Bout 14-3/4"
Body at endpin4-1/2 4-1/2"

                 Comments

 

 

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