Harp Guitars of the Chinery Collection

From the CD Masterpiece Guitars

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 old instruments. 
NOTE: Please address all inquiries about the availability of guitars directly to E*Guitars.

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
(Truax?, c.1902?)


(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
Regal (Wulshner)
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."

Mozzani, c.1910-1940s

Mozzani, c.1910-1940s

Image 1  Image 2  Image 3

Maurer, c.1912

Image 1  Image 2  Image 3

Gibson Style U, 1912
(top refinished)
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

Image 1  Image 2  Image 3

Unknown German?

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Josef Forg, Munich, 1930

Image 1  Image 2  Image 3

Stahl double-neck, c.1930

Image 1  Image 2  Image 3

Espana 1970, Model SL-102. Hollow arm "psuedo harp guitar"
Made in Finland, blt-in p/u
Image 1  Image 2  Image 3
Image 4  
E*Guitars Inv #0550
$3000 (poor condition)
E*Guitars > Stacy Hobbs E*Guitars Inv #0692
E*Guitars Inv #0543
$5000  (good condition)
E*Guitars Inv #0574

For additional vintage, used and new harp guitars for sale, be sure to monitor the dealers on the Links page and the "Buy and Sell" section of the Forum.

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