Knutsen Harp Guitar   

This otherwise typical Knutsen (with an altered bridge with added tailpiece) contains some exciting provenance.
Sold privately after an eBay auction in March, 2006, it comes with a typed letter from the original owner - a letter which alludes to a previously completely unknown shop of Knutsen's, in a town none of us knew he was ever in!

The letter reads, "I purchased my harp-guitar and case April 29, 1912, of Mr. Knudson (sic), the maker, in Bellingham, Washington, where he was making guitars, violins, and mandolins, in his own shop."  It is signed by the purchaser, and below that, a note from the next owner, who bought the guitar in 1988.

This is the second Knutsen instrument with provenance detailing not only exactly when, but where Knutsen sold the instrument!
The date is smack dab in the middle of the short range of years that Dan Most and Tom Noe estimated for the included label (subsequently verified by myself), so that is nice corroborative information.  But the location - Bellingham?  Neither Dan, Tom, nor later, Jean Findlay, ever found a trail leading there.  However, 1912 happens to be the one date that Knutsen's business listing is missing from the Seattle directory, though his residence is still listed in Seattle.  Bellingham is about 90 miles north of Seattle, so the commute seems a bit long! 

The other clue is the mention of Knutsen making violins.  So far, no one has come forward with a Knutsen-labeled violin, and of course, if he made standard instruments, they would be difficult to spot in the crowd.  We know he was occasionally listed as a violin maker (Tacoma, 1905).  Since he was apparently still making them in 1912, and thus likely had made them throughout his career, the possibility that he made "harp" forms (like the suspected HV2) seems too obvious to ignore.

Click on pictures to enlarge
(left image copyright Andrew Lardner, other images from eBay)

Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HGS63

                 Category

Seattle Harp Guitars

                 Body Style

"Lower Bass Point"

                 Current or last known owner

Andrew Lardner

              Year (approx)

1911-1913

                 Label Code

SE2

                 Courses / Strings

11 course: 6 strings on neck, 5 bass

               Frets

straight
                 Scale length ~24-1/2"
                 Neck Joint unknown

Woods

Top

spruce?

Back & Sides

mahogany?

Neck

unknown

Fingerboard

unknown

Bridge

mahogany?
Headstock veneer unknown

Binding, trim

Top

multi-colored rope

Back

none

Fingerboard

none

Headstock(s)

none
Soundhole multi-colored rope

                 Inlay

4 dot fret markers

                 Pickguard

none

                 Comments

Lower Bout Width: 14-7/8", Total Length: 41-1/8", Body Depth: 4-1/16"

 

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