Featured Harp Guitar of the Month

A Portuguese Knutsen?!

by Gregg Miner, September, 2004

The photos on this page are courtesy of Guy Laurent who heads up the Musical Instrument offerings at Vichy Auctions in France. This instrument was sold in June, 2004 (and yes, I tried, and failed to get it!). The consignor gave a date of 1916, with no explanation of what this is based on. Whatever the vintage, it seems impossible that the maker was not directly influenced by Chris Knutsen's circa 1900 Synphony Harp Guitars! I love the similarities, and the differences - including the gorgeous sycamore back and sides, the peg tuners, and the unique shape of the bass headstock.

port_front-vichy.jpg (65626 bytes)           port_label-vichy.jpg (134677 bytes)           port_back-vichy.jpg (65799 bytes)        

port_bridge-vichy.jpg (62487 bytes)

port_backarm-vichy.jpg (63321 bytes)

Nothing yet is known on the maker. The label (translation courtesy of William Cumpiano) reads:

Antonio Victor Viera
Fabricante de instrumento de corda premiado em diversas exposiciones

(Maker of stringed instruments winner of prizes at several expositions)
Guitarreria Viera
(Viera Guitar Making Shop)
 Fundada en ????
(Founded in ????)
 Marca registrada
(Registered Trademark)
 189 Rua Eugenio dos Santos, 191- Lisboa
(189 Eugenio dos Santos Street, 191- Lisbon)
Proxima a Largo de Anunciado

(Next to the Plaza of the Announced)
 Santos Beirao, Lda. (Licensee)
Rua 1o de Dezembre, 20C a 8

(December 1st Street)

port_head-vichy.jpg (88905 bytes)

port_logo-vichy.jpg (50529 bytes)

port_pin-vichy.jpg (44338 bytes)

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