Knutsen Harp Hawaiian Guitar   

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This is as good as it gets!
A Knutsen Harp Hawaiian with a walnut top! (and it sounds great)
One of only two instruments known so far with the McDuff St. label.
The seller, Knutsen aficionado Dan'l, provided the following story with the instrument. If true, this may have indeed been Knutsen's last instrument! Either way, he was certainly working very well right up to the end.

"I acquired this guitar from the son of the woman to whom it was given by Chris Knutsen. Both Chris and his wife were in very poor health in their last years. It's suspected that Chris's poor health was at least partially due to the years of exposure to solvent fumes, and sawdust from his work.
After their move to Los Angeles and to the McDuff Street address on the label inside this instrument, Chris began attending church at the nearby Swedish Lutheran Church. And at that church Chris met the woman who for the next several years befriended the family and nursed the ailing couple. The woman, a Swedish immigrant was a registered nurse, and according to her son, it's not likely she would have charged the Knutsen's for her kindness or nursing care.
So as Chris was able he would work on this instrument. And before he died, this instrument was passed to the woman who played it "with wild abandon" until she too passed on, and handed it down to her son."

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

Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HHW7

                 Category

Hollow Neck Hawaiian Guitars

                 Body Style

"'Weissenborn-shaped' Harp Hawaiian"

                 Current or last known owner

Jonathan Kellerman

                 Year (approx)

1930

                 Label

"C. KNUTSEN, Musical Instruments Made and Repaired, 1306 McDuff St., (Cor.Sunset) Los Angeles, Cal. Phone MUtual 1678" with picture of harp ukulele

                 Label Code LA11

                 Courses / Strings

12 course: 6 strings on neck, 2 bass, 4 treble

                 Frets

inlaid wood

                 Scale length 24-3/4"
                 Neck Joint hollow, square, taper begins at the second fret

Woods

Top

walnut with pearwood inlays

Back & Sides

koa 

Neck

?

Fingerboard

walnut?

Bridge

koa or mahogany

Headstock veneer

none

Binding, trim

Top

rope

Back

rope

Fingerboard

rope

Headstock(s)

rope

Soundhole

rope, assorted wood

                 Inlay

fancy pearl fret markers, pearl flower inlays on top and headstock

                 Pickguard

pearwood

Dimensions Upper Bout 9-3/4"
Lower Bout 15"
Body at endpin 3-3/8"

                 Comments

 

 

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