Harp Guitars of the Chinery Collection
by Gregg Miner, in conjunction with E*Guitars
During the late 1990's, those of us with a passion for
historical guitars (of all types) watched with interest and admitted
longing as millionaire guitar aficionado Scott Chinery assembled one of the
largest collections of guitars in the world. The breadth and variety of the
guitars was staggering, and included about twenty harp guitars! When he passed away suddenly in
2002, the obvious question was what would happen to the collection. After an unsuccessful attempt to donate the
collection to the Smithsonian, and courting by some of the major auction houses,
the Chinery family eventually decided to sell nearly
the entire collection to vintage guitar buff Michael Indelicato. As I understand
it, of the harp guitars, the Dyer Symphony Style 8 and the ornate Gibson were
kept by the family. Several of the harp guitars were quickly sold (those new
owners that wish to be known will be listed here), while the rest formed part of
the inventory of E*Guitars, the new vintage
super-store created by Michael. Most of us are familiar with the 10 harp guitars
presented in The Chinery Collection (later re-printed rather
unceremoniously by Tony Bacon as History of the American Guitar). Additionally,
7 of these were used on Masterpiece Guitars, the
CD by Martin Taylor and Steve Howe. Unknown were the several instruments not
presented in either of the above projects, which are included here, courtesy of
E*Guitars. With their cooperation, I will permanently post the prices of each
instrument available for sale, and any change in owner status, if sold (and
known). It's too bad this remarkable set of obscure instruments couldn't have
stayed together on permanent display somewhere. Michael and the staff of
E*Guitars feel the the same way. Until the instruments are sold (it is a
business, unfortunately!), they are enjoying the stewardship of these wonderful
These first two rows of instruments are from the Chinery book. Click on images to enlarge.
|Dyer Style 8, ser # 809
|Dyer Style 7, ser # 672
(Gaetano F. Puntolillo, New York) c.1920
"Established 1900 / Phone Canal 3644 / Mandolins / G.F. Puntolillo / Manufacturer of / Majestic Banjos / and High Grade Musical Instruments / Guitars / 35 Spring Street / New York City"
|Chinery Estate||E*Guitars > Unknown||E*Guitars > Unknown||E*Guitars > The Relics Collection||E*Guitars > Unknown > Fretted Americana|
|Gibson custom, ser# 8544, 1906||Gibson Style U
|Bohmann, c.1910||Manzer, 1995|
|Chinery Estate||E*Guitars Inv#0560
|E*Guitars > Unknown||E*Guitars > Unknown||E*Guitars > Unknown|
11/1/05: John Condon wrote in to tell me the story of the suspicious-looking sunburst Regal above. John writes: "I found it in a little flea market in Cocoa, Florida, sometime around 1979. I bought it for $5.00! The guy was selling it as a planter, you could put your hand in the cracks in the back. It had a regular finish on the top, but some idiot had taken a disc sander to it. I had Michael Tobias (then working in Orlando) rebuild it, that took about 2 years. He put the sunburst finish on it since he couldn't hide the disc sander marks. I had it for several years, but didn't play it much, and ended up selling it to Scott."
|Maurer, c.1912||Gibson Style U, 1912
|Gaetano F. Puntolillo, New York, c.1920
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3
Image 4 Image 5
|E*Guitars > Benoit Meulle-Stef||
E*Guitars Inv #0424
|E*Guitars > Bernd Wannenwetsch||E*Guitars > Unknown||E*Guitars > Bernd Wannenwetsch|
|American Conservatory, c.1890s||Unknown German?
|Josef Forg, Munich, 1930||Stahl double-neck, c.1930||Espana
1970, Model SL-102.
arm "psuedo harp guitar"
Made in Finland, blt-in p/u
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3
$3000 (poor condition)
|E*Guitars > Stacy Hobbs||E*Guitars
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