Knutsen Harp Guitar    

This is a curious instrument that definitely requires further inspection!
Readers should first be aware of the story of Otto Anderson - as this instrument is owned by a relative of Otto.
The assumption is that this would be one of the personal guitars that Otto built for his family. And in fact, it does have a custom feature - the unusual "one-off" bass headstock. This headstock doesn't remotely match any of Knutsen's others, nor does it quite fit the very linear "Darwinian" evolutionary progression of Knutsen's bass headstock designs.
Yet in all other aspects, it appears to be a typical early-mid Seattle-era Knutsen - including the straight fingerboard end, rather than Anderson's double-scalloped design.  One photo even shows what is clearly a label. While we await more information and evidence of this label, I can only speculate that Otto would not have put a Knutsen label in a guitar intended for one of his children. 
Then there is the time frame. The characteristics place this instrument around 1907-1909 - long after we believe Otto was working for Knutsen. It is certainly possible that the two kept in contact (Anderson displayed furniture at the 1909 AYP Expo in Seattle, which Knutsen certainly attended) - or even that Anderson's involvement lasted for many years. A whole host of new questions arise when confronted with this instrument! I hope we are able to gain access to the guitar for further study. The label and the presence or lack of a heel would probably clear up some questions.

hgs58.jpg (39197 bytes)

Click on a picture to enlarge
(image copyright anonymous owner)

Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HGS58

                 Category

Seattle Harp Guitars

                 Body Style

"Lower Bass Point"

                 Current or last known owner

unknown player

              Year (approx)

1907-1909

                 Label

unknown

                 Courses / Strings

11 course: 6 strings on neck, 5 bass

               Frets

straight

                 Scale length unknown
                 Neck Joint unknown

Woods

Top

unknown

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)

none
Soundhole 3 rings (2 multi-colored purfling)

                 Inlay

fancy fret markers and crescent moon &star in headstock

                 Pickguard

black plastic? with fancy inlay

                 Comments

 

 

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