Knutsen Harp Guitar    

This incredible instrument from an equally incredible vintage advertising image is a second Knutsen "harp-12-string!" That is, the main neck features 6 pairs of strings like a standard twelve-string guitar, along with 5 extra basses. As one of only four Knutsen "Double Points," it is such an unusual, distinctive instrument that I was sure we had found a period photo of HGS26, the existing 12-string (heavily restored, so we had some guesswork involved). After obtaining a very high resolution scan from the University of Iowa, one could make out the differences: a longer headstock, different bass tuner configuration, and a different 3rd fret inlay. It also has a distinctive inlaid pickguard, but as HGS26 had its top replaced, there is no way to compare that feature (assuming it had one also).
The guitar player is a member of the Joseph Kekuku Quintet (Kekuku of course being the legendary inventor of the steel guitar, according to most historians). See also Historical Photos.

hgs39.jpg (46798 bytes) hgs39full.jpg (52599 bytes) hgs39full2.jpg (62241 bytes)

hgs39heads.jpg (113157 bytes) hgs39neck.jpg (56001 bytes) hgs39sh.jpg (63652 bytes)

Click on a picture to enlarge
(images copyright Redpath Chautauqua Bureau, Special Collections,
University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa)

Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HGS39

                 Category

Seattle Harp Guitars

                 Body Style

"Lower Bass Point"

                 Current or last known owner

Joseph Kekuku's guitar player

              Year (approx)

1913-1914

                 Label

unknown

                 Courses / Strings

11-course: 12 strings on neck, 5 bass

               Frets

straight

                 Scale length unknown
                 Neck Joint unknown

Woods

Top

black

Back & Sides

unknown

Neck

unknown

Fingerboard

unknown

Bridge

unknown
Headstock veneer unknown

Binding, trim

Top

difficult to identify

Back

ivoroid?

Fingerboard

ivoroid?

Headstock(s)

none
Soundhole rope

                 Inlay

fancy fret markers and inlay in headstock

                 Pickguard

black? with fancy inlay

                 Comments

 

 

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