"Harp" forms of Related Stringed Instruments
by Gregg Miner

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"True" Harp forms


theorboed mandolone
Form 1c
anon, Italian, 1900-1910 Knutsen
harp mandolin, c.1910
Form 3a
harp mandolin, c.1914-1921
Form 3a
Drawing made by a Jenkins, Kansas City employee (Jenkins made or distributed Harwood harp guitars)

Alternate view 2

Alternate views 3
A fascinating real harp mandolin by a later unknown maker appeared in the 1969 cult film Angel, Angel Down We Go (now called Cult of the Damned). It features a carved top with F-holes, elevated pickguard, bound top and back, custom wide tailpiece, hollow arm with elaborate bass headstock and 5 sub-bass strings. Harmonie, 1919
Patent # 312,840

harp mandolin, c.2000
Form 3a
Stephen Sedgwick harp mandolin, 2005
Form 3a
Harry Eibert harp mandolin, Form 3a David Newton harp mandolin, Form 3a Tropical Moon Music

H. Hammond, Sioux City, Iowa

This amazing instrument is technically a double-neck-, not a harp-, mandolin, as it has a strange floating fretboard for the 3 doubled bass courses!  The owner, Lowell Levinger, agrees that they just cannot be fretted in practical use.  A fascinating combination of a mandolinetto and a Knutsen hollow arm instrument, with Hammond's own invention thrown in!


Altpeter, 1927
Form 1a/b
Makoto Tsuruta
Form 2a
Harry Eibert
Form 3a
Steve Wise
Form 3a
Koji Sugiura
Form 3a & 4

David White taropatch Duane Heilman concert Harry Eibert tenor Michael Dunn tenor Pete Howlett tenor Ken Miller soprano


Harp guitar-banjo, France c.1930
6 string neck, 4 sub-bass
Knutsen, harp Hawaiian guitar, c.1920s
2 sub-bass, 4 super-treble
Knutsen, harp Hawaiian guitar, c.1920s
2 sub-bass
Sullivan, Atlanta, GA, 1933,
Patent # 1,895,383
Viola beiroa, extra double-course of treble strings attached to bass side of body/neck junction

"Pseudo" Harp forms

            Mandolins, Hollow-arm, lyre form

Calace, Italy, 1890s Monzino Unknown P. Dabiero, Milan
TradeMarked: Octochordis Dabiero

Piccolo size

Unknown Gibson, 1890s Unknown, appears Italian

Smaw, 1899,
Pat #D31,918
Turturro, 1904,
Pat #767,023
Lyralin, 1906, Pat #812,049 Vaughn, 1917, 
Pat #D50,545
Bryan, 2002, Pat #US2002162442A1

            Mandolins, Hollow-arm, harp form

Gaskins, 1895,
Pat #552,116
Martin, stamped "Made by C.F. Martin & Co. for C.H. Gaskins & Co. Sept 2 '01." Livermore, 1896,
Pat #D26424
Porto, Sicily, c.1903 German?

harp mandolin,
harp mandola, c.1910-1920
harp bandurria, c.1910-1920
harp mandolin, 1918, Pat #D52,539
I believe this is a another version by McVey
Who in the world made this "harp mandolin" with f-holes?!

Dyer (Larson-made)
harp mandolin, c.1910
Dyer (Larson-made)
harp mando-cello, c.1906?
5-course harp mandola
(Larson-made, Knutsen design?), c.1900s
Jim Claridge, U.K. Dave Gregory, U.K.

Regal, c.1920? A patent-applied-for (Nov 20, 1908 Canadian Pook mandolin, with the arm on the "wrong" side!

Additional images

Monzino, Milan, c.1900s Luigi Galimberti
(for Monzino & Sons)
Calace, Naples, 1920 Longobardi, 1914
U.S. Pat #D45,566
Federico Gardelli, Napoli, Via Roma 52
Clearly there is a connection between Gardelli and the U.S. Longobardi patent.
Mozzani, Italy, c.1910 Fratelli Masetti (Masetti Brothers), Modena, c.1920s

See also Masetti Harp Guitars

Unknown Musikalia, 1970s Bob Alexander, Delmundo Guitars

            Ukuleles, Hollow-arm, harp form

harp ukulele, c.1914-1921
harp taropatch,
Michael Dunn
harp uke
Hoosier Maid, Geoff Davis Black Bear Ukuleles, Duane Heilman

Sympathetic Strings
Vincenzo Cipriani, Italy Fred Carlson
Sympathetic strings


What is a Harp Guitar?


Harp Guitar Family Tree

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