Knutsen "Teardrop" Hawaiian Guitar    

A nice, rare teardrop, with some tantalizing new clues that we just cannot resolve!
The owner's grandfather (Ellsworth Minner) apparently wrote some notes on a card that has been in the case since he got it.  He got it from a Miss Robinson of Long Beach, California, who told him that she received it as a gift from a Naval Officer in 1915.  This happens to be smack in the middle of Knutsen's "Lost Years" from 1914-1916 - when Noe and Most believe he was in L.A., but never proven.  1915 was of course when the San Francisco Pan Pacific International Expo was in full swing, and we all agree that Knutsen must have frequented the Hawaiian expo events.

Another interesting thing is the label - Knutsen's last Seattle label, but with "Seattle, Wash" crossed out (though not the address).  No one (myself, Jean Findlay, Darrell Urbien, Tom Noe so far) has been able to decipher what must have been written through the soundhole after the fact.  Guesses range from another address, to a tuning, to (most temptingly) a booth number (say, in the PPIE?!).  Regardless, we seem to agree that this was almost certainly an instrument built before Chris left Seattle, and (presumably) sold in 1915 - wherever he was.

(images copyright Gregg Miner)

Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HTD4

                 Category

Hollow Neck Hawaiian Guitars

                 Body Style

"Teardrop-shaped"

                 Current or last known owner

Bryan Minner

                 Year (approx)

c.1914

                 Label

Harp Guitar Factory label, "Seattle, Wash" crossed out

                 Label Code SE7

                 Courses / Strings

6 strings

                 Frets

inlaid wood
                 Scale length 25-5/8"
                 Neck Joint taper begins at nut

Woods

Top

black

Back & Sides

mahogany

Neck

fir

Fingerboard

dyed ?

Bridge

mahogany

Headstock veneer none

Binding, trim

Top

pearwood? blonde

Back

none

Fingerboard

none

Headstock(s)

none
Soundhole multi-colored rope

                 Inlay

fancy pearl fret markers

                 Pickguard

none

Dimensions Upper Bout na
Lower Bout 15-1/2"
Body at endpin 4-1/4", 3-1/16" at nut

                 Comments

 

 

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