Knutsen Harp Guitar    

hgs43full.jpg (29233 bytes) What a photo! It took Knutsen aficionado Kerry Char a couple of years (and my nagging) to finally track down the owner of this incredible image - Robin Amend, the grandson of the gentleman seated at right - leader of a successful group of one-armed vaudeville musicians! See Bert Amend & the One-Armed Musicians.
This page shows the left-handed instrument owned by the group. Proportions identify it as a shorter scale instrument - somewhere around 3/4, I believe. Both group instruments are very fancy, this one the most. Note the wonderful headstock extension to incorporate an extra "moon & star!" Along with three other headstock inlays, I believe this is a record for Knutsen. He also included a moon & star on the bass headstock (another first), and a butterfly on the body (not within the typical pickguard, apparently). Both instruments also have the doubled third ("G") string, a rare Knutsen specialty (seen also on HGS5, HGS8 & HGS25). It's interesting to note that on four of these instruments, the tuners for the pair of strings are on opposite sides of the headstock. The wonderful detail in the photograph also shows how the bass strings are run around the shaft of the brass woodscrew "nuts." Some strings have extra nuts, with the lowest string showing in the succession of three photos that a second was added at a later point. Perhaps the second was added to help "pinch" the string (as on pedal harp mechanism does) for a clearer tone? Hard to tell. Note how every other bass was eventually removed, leaving just three. On HGS40, the "zither harp guitar," I wondered whether the crude "rib bone" treble bridges were original - but these "new-in-the-photos" instruments have the same bridges!

hgs43heads.jpg (33834 bytes)
   hgs43c.jpg (21228 bytes)   hgs43b.jpg (21875 bytes)
This is the same instrument from as seen in the first 3 photos.

hgs43headsb.jpg (35401 bytes)

hgs43bridge.jpg (14883 bytes) hgs43neck.jpg (31352 bytes)

hgs43point.jpg (13632 bytes)

hgs43-44compare.jpg (42807 bytes)
HGS43 & HGS44 to scale

Click on a picture to enlarge
(images copyright Robin Amend )

Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HGS43

                 Category

Seattle Harp Guitars

                 Body Style

"Lower Bass Point"

                 Current or last known owner

Bert Amend

              Year (approx)

1912-1913

                 Label

looks like SE1 or SE2

                 Courses / Strings

18 course: 7 strings on neck (G doubled), 5 bass, 7 treble

               Frets

straight

                 Scale length unknown, but shorter
                 Neck Joint unknown

Woods

Top

black

Back & Sides

unknown

Neck

unknown

Fingerboard

unknown

Bridge

unknown
Headstock veneer unknown

Binding, trim

Top

fancy wood purfling & ivoroid

Back

ivoroid? 

Fingerboard

ivoroid?

Headstock(s)

bass headstock: ivoroid?, neck headstock: none
Soundhole fancy wood purfling

                 Inlay

fancy fret markers, 4 inlays in neck headstock, inlay in bass headstock, butterfly in body

                 Pickguard

none

                 Comments

left-handed

 

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