Latest Additions to

Maintained by Gregg Miner
Last Update: 2017
Last Major Update: 2008

Over 400 Knutsen instruments now known! *
(* = known to have been built. About 75% survive)

Collector's Note: Since my last major update in 2008, I have been unable to keep up with the discoveries.
There are now at least 100 new specimens to add to the count below!





Harp Guitars




Hawaiian Guitars











Violins 2 2 0


August, 2022: As Knutsen fans probably know by now, I haven't been able to keep up with the specific Archives count.  I have over 75 specimens to add to the site, and have updated (rough) count above.  Rest assured that if you have sent in photos and info, yours will eventually be added!  There are always special Knutsen finds that I blog about on occasion, so always check there!

2/26/2011: I know I'm way behind (there are at least 3 dozen more instruments to add...), but am putting some updates on my blog here.  I just added an important find on the "Patent Applied For" Harp Ukuleles here.  I also made an update on the site to the Amend Story.

6/1/2008: Annual Update (with 8/16/08 Correction)

Stories:  A wonderful new illustrated article by Jean Cammon Findlay describes how Chris Knutsen traveled around the Puget Sound area to distribute and sell his unusual instruments.  You will feel like "You Are There!"  Jean also updated Does Chris Knutsen Have Living Descendants? with last year's discovery of a direct descendent - right here in southern California!

I also completely re-wrote the Payne's Mandolin and Guitar School article, and unveil what we believe is the original Cadenza photo!   New instruments catalogued and new investigation into Payne.  Special thanks to Dirk Vandenberg, with research assistance by Paul Ruppa, Darrell Urbien and Jean Findlay.

InstrumentsStill being discovered like clockwork.  25 new specimens have been added, with the usual "similar" models, but plenty of surprises as well - including some tantalizing provenance clues.

  • Harp Guitars: Cool new finds are Inventory # HGT52 - a surviving "double soundhole" child's harp guitar (like those in the Payne photo), and HGS73, a harp guitar with eight sub-basses (a new Knutsen record).  Other new harp guitars include HGS71, the fanciest specimen yet found; HGS70, another 12-strings-on-the-neck double-point, HGT57, another Brazilian rosewood instrument, HGS72 (small double-point), HGT53, and three additional specimens now identified in the Payne School photo: HGT54, 55 & 56.  Also new, improved photos of HGT40, 41, 42 (the other Payne School instruments), HGS64, HGS16 (amazing 3-ply herringbone and colored purfling trim!), and HGS12 (an old one from Hartman's books - finally seen in color!).  I also completey re-arranged the Tacoma Symphony HGs (the first couple years-worth built in Port Townsend) - I think I have better separated them into the correct timeline and/or feature changes.
  • Hawaiians (also now better referred to as "Steels" - or "Harp Steels" when they have extra strings) HTD4, a new teardrop sold during Knutsen's "Lost Years" in 1915; four three more fancy harp steels - all of which had their trebles permanently removed (?!) - HHW21, 22, 23 & 24 (HHW22 & HHW23 were discovered to be the same instrument when I was luckily able to examine it!).  Also new convertibles and hollow-necks HCW12, HCW13, HW32 (with a new label type), HW33 (with new PPIE provenance?!), and HW34.  HW33 may actually be a temporary code # - it appears to be a new form of "solid-neck non-convertible" convertible!  Also new pics of the all-mahogany HCW9.
  • Speaking of new styles/ Categories, we now have Knutsen "Spanish Guitars."  S1 is a standard 6-string with heel - "normal" in every respect but unusual for Knutsen!
  • Harp Mandolins: Four new ones, including another black one with subs, a Lower Bass Point, and two Lower Treble Points (one with a beautiful flame maple back): HM27, 28, 29 & 30.
  • Harp Ukes: Only one new one - but another rare harp taropatch: HT5.

Historical Photos:  Another great Hawaiian band shot (which gave us HGS70) and LaVetta, the one-man band.

I also did yet another small update on both Dyer pages: Harp Guitars and Harp Mandolins.  Includes another Style 3 harp guitar, a "centered bridge" specimen, and a second harp mandola!

And finally, with all the recent year's discoveriies, I have revised the main Instrument Categories, Styles & Terminology page - and I'm sure I'm not done!

Thanks this time around to the following individuals for sharing photos and information:  Bob Hartman, Arian Sheets (National Music Museum), Josh Weisman, Don Stewart, Dirk Vandenburg, Paul Ruppa, Darrell Urbien, Jean Findlay, Tom Benson, Brian KLYM, Joe Caliguri, Rob Meinhardt, Don Caviness, Peter Edwards, Buster Jeremiah, Peter Blecha, Dennis Lake, Bryan Minner, Randy DeGiovanni, Marc Silber, Tone Powell, D.J. Dawson, Aaron Richards, Rob Hoffman (Montaine-antiques), Gary Berry, and Curtis Burch.


4/28/2007: Annual Update

Stories:  Nothing new yet, I am afraid.  Research continues and in the works are small pieces by Jean Findlay and a major work or two by Darrell Urbien.  An additional exciting bit of news is that we have finally heard from a living Chris Knutsen descendant - their information and story will hopefully be added to our family tree.

InstrumentsA fairly "quiet" year, with only 19 new specimens discovered.  The rarities are mostly in the Hawaiian area.  New instruments and/or photos:

  • Harp Guitars: HGP30, new photos of restored HGP22, full color photos of the remarkable HGT26, HGT49, HGT50, HGT51, color photo of HGS16, HGS64, HGS65, HGS66 (an interesting short arm), HGS67, color photos of new HGS68 seen in Bob Hartman's new book, and HGS69.
  • Hawaiians: A new teardrop, and two new pineapples! HTD3 - which gives us a brand new label - and HP4 and HP5 (plus new pics of HP3) - what a bonanza!  Also convertible harp steels HCP20 and HCP21, and fancy HHW20.
  • Harp Mandolins: Two nice new Lower Treble Points: HM25, with a weird headstock, and HM26 - only barely seen in a historical photo, but may be the fanciest yet!
  • Harp Ukes: Only one new one...or half a new one. HU30.

Thanks to the following individuals for sharing photos and information: Roma Baran, Kerry Char, Kevin Fairfield, Michael Ferrucci, Aurelia Hartenburger, Bob Hartman, Bob Kelly, Jonathan Kellerman, Bob Krueger, Ben Levin, Rich Lanham, Stephen Lucas, Tim Murphy, Tim O'Donnell, Stanley Pryor, Arian Sheets, Josh Weisman, Brian Wetzstein.

Historical Photos:  Hard to beat last year's treasures, but three nice pieces came to light (now in the Miner Museum collection):

  • Two photos of female players - one playing an 1896 Patent-style and the other a beautiful cabinet card of a large women's group, one with a Symphony model.
  • A small double-sided advertising card showing Bell's Famous Hawaiians - with a harp guitar (HGS68) and harp mando (HM26)

I also did a major re-write on both Dyer pages: Harp Guitars and Harp Mandolins. New information comes from Bob Hartman, Forrest Buckman, myself and John Doan.


4/1/2006: Major Annual Update!

I apologize that is has been a full year between updates, but that’s because I can’t keep up with all the discoveries, and I am also working on several pieces at once (sometimes with fellow Knutsenologists), so I can’t always manage all of these “works-in-progress.”  So I plan on formatting and adding all the newly collected Knutsen information about once a year now.  And this one is a doozy!  There is still a major piece (or two) to come from Darrell Urbien – but there always seems to be JUST a little more research to complete.  Darrell is a new volunteer Knutsenologist  - an excellent and passionate researcher and witty writer, who grew up in Knutsen’s own L.A. stomping grounds.  He has dug up a surprising amount of new information and clues about the Los Angeles Knutsen locations.  But that is for another day.  For now, there is plenty of amazing material to satiate Knutsen buffs:


  • Jean Findlay has completed a wonderful new section, Chris Knutsen: Vignettes of a Life.  The 3 wonderful pieces (one with 4 full chapters!) are likely the first and only personal stories of Chris to come to light in our time.  Jean also wrote another important article, Does Chris Knutsen Have Living Descendants?  A huge thanks to Jean for her continued passion and contribution to the legacy of the Chris Knutsen.
  • I also wrote my own story – April’s Harp Guitar Player of the Month is none other than Chris himself.  Brand new information unearthed by Darrell included!
  • I also present one of the new discovered Knutsen specimens as April’s Harp Guitar of the Month.  Thanks to the owner, Ed Douglas, for taking an interest and sharing his treasure with us!


  • A whopping 39 new specimens!  And several are new “models” never seen before.  In addition to HCN3 (the featured instrument above), there is a new harp mandolin style (HM21), and a 5-course harp mandola (HMA2)!  Thanks to Kelvin Nesvog for former and Marc Silber & Jon Pederson for finding the latter.  There is also a second harp-violin!  This strange instrument may or may not be Knutsen-made (HV2).
  • We also have photos of the two other surviving Otto Anderson instruments!  HGP25 is a duplicate of the strange “wrap-around-arm” guitar, while HGS58 is a Seattle-style instrument.  The plot definitely thickens with this discovery (more photos are necessary).  Thanks as always to the indispensable Jeanette Detlor and her cousins.
  • Two brand new labels have also appeared - one found on a Los Angeles uke, stating (again?) "Patent Applied For" (assigned label code LA1/2) - the other an early Tacoma label (TA1/2). See Labels.

Additional, more “normal,” but always valuable, finds include:

  • Harp guitars HGP24, HGP26, HGP27 (a nice rosewood 3-bass Patent-style), HGP28 and HGP29.  These 5 Port Townsend guitars have now shown the 3 sub-bass form to be the most common.  Also HGT47 (perhaps the first of the “Evolving Symphonys), HGT48 (the specimen with the new label), HGS53 (another small Double-Point), HGS54, HGS55, HGS56, HGS57, HGS59, HGS61, and HGS63 (with some surprising provenance!).  Thanks to submitters and/or owners Peter Sawchyn, Troy Summerhill, Paul Hostettor, Darrell Urbien, Foursquare Church Heritage Dept., Kelvin Nesvog, Marianne Roulet, John Doan, Intermountain Guitar & Banjo, Andrew Lardner, Larry Sears, Thomas McLeod and Katherine Vollenweider of the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley.
  • Hawaiians: HCW10, HCW11, HCS4, HCP19, HW30, HW31 and HHW19.  Thanks to owners Richard Weber, Tom Noe, Trevor Swinney, Dan Yablonka, and the Foursquare Church Heritage Dept. (via Darrell Urbien).
  • Harp Mandos: HM22, HM23 and HM24 - 1 from eBay, 1 anonymous owner, and one thanks to David Crummey.
  • Harp Ukes: HU23, HU24, HU25, HU26, HU27 and HU29. Thanks to Glenn Cornick for the first, and Jeff Turner for locating another 4 and taking photos of 3 of them, and to their owner, Mac Yasuda. Last one is from a postcard listed below.

New or upgraded photos of already-inventoried instruments include: HGP16, HGP23, HGT9, HGT15, HGS23, HGS24, HGT28, HGT33, HM15, HV1.

Historical Photos:  Many new treasures!

  • A beautiful, hand-colored photo of King Benny Nawahi's Hawaiian Novelty Five, with a Dyer and the black Knutsen, courtesy of Donatella Moores.
  • A Knutsen player in Mexico, 1907.
  • An Oregon player.
  • A 1920’s photo of the owner of specimen # HGT39, courtesy of the grandson, D. Pihlman.
  • A wonderful c.1919 photo showing the Angelus Temple's famous founder, Aimee Semple McPherson, with her gospel car on a road trip in California - complete with two Knutsens (HCS4 and HGS55). Courtesy of the Heritage Department of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (via Darrell Urbien).
  • Vierra's Royal Hawaiian Singers and Players with Knutsen (HGS54), courtesy of the Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries (via Darrell Urbien).
  • Proctor's Fireside Group, with a Knutsen-playing “Cowboy” character, courtesy of John Doan.
  • An adorable photo of a harp-uke player, courtesy of Glenn Cornick, owner of the actual uke (HU23)!
  • A Canadian postcard of a Hawaiian band with harp-uke player.
  • A player of an amazing Knutsen-like harp violin!
  • Ernest Marquez found and donated a duplicate of the marvelous Harmony Four postcard – the original image that helped launch the Knutsen Archives!  All images updated with better, color scans. Plus new photos of where they played!
  • Jeanette Detlor also provided new, improved scans of her photos.
  • And a surprise newspaper photo of Chris Knutsen in 1923!

  Related Makers:

4/12/05: New harp guitar HGS52 added, thanks to Colin McCubbin, who just managed to snap some photos before it sold out of a Vancouver music store.  And we finally have an image of the third harp guitar (HGS51) owned by Bert Amend, thanks to Amend Music Store employee Brian Alboucq!

3/15/05: Some wonderful, rare new Knutsen postcard discoveries! First is a series of three images of a group musicians that includes the amazing one-armed Bert Amend! Also amazing is that the harp mandolin pictured in the one image is already in the Archives as surviving Inv# HM19! See Bert Amend and the... . Also added to the Historical Photos page are two postcards I acquired of Knutsen Hawaiian player Peter Pester. One is a new, fourth image, one is a duplicate that greatly improved the resolution of the previous copy I had. You can now see the instrument a little clearer (Inv # HW19). Also added new photos of HGS42, thanks to the new owner, Søren Venema of Palm Guitars in Amsterdam.

3/7/05: Dyer update! Just discovered - a page from a dated W. J.  Dyer & Bro catalog from 1939! At the bottom of the The Knutsen-Dyer Connection page, courtesy of Robert Hartman.

2/17/05: Added new harp guitar #HGP23, thanks to Ray Riepe. Added a new Historical Photo of a Knutsen player, thanks to kind eBay-er, Dave McCord.

1/21/05: Added a new Hawaiian, #HW29, thanks to Mike Guthrie - who can identify the wood for us?

1/9/05: A third (and very different) harp taropatch! Thanks to the owner for submitting Inv # HT4.

12/28/04: Added Convertible Harp Hawaiian guitar HCP18, thanks again to Intermountain Guitar & Banjo (and John Bushouse for the find).

12/18/04: Two more harp guitars added, including another missing link! HGT45 (thanks to Kent Erickson for submitting!); and HGT46, from a rare old photo I just obtained from eBay (also added to Historical Photos).
Added a "Surviving" count to all instrument pages.

12/2/04: Another harp guitar added: HGS50, thanks to those prolific Knutsen-finders, Intermountain Guitar & Banjo!

11/5/04: Added two more new harp guitars: HGS48 (thanks to owner George Fullwood), and HGS49 (thanks to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center).

10/17/04: Added new harp guitars HGP22 (from eBay. the new owner will be restoring and photographing it in the future) and HGS47 (thanks to Roy Graves).

7/30/04: Added new photos of HCP15, thanks to the new owner, Lowell Levinger.

Also braces of mandolin HM7, thanks to owner Ron Petit.

7/23/04: Added:

New Instrument: Harp guitar HGS46, courtesy of an anonymous donor.

New photos of Hawaiian guitar HCP17, thanks to new owner Ron Petit!

Photos of the inside braces of harp guitar HGS35 on the Braces page, thanks to the new owner.

July 1, 2004: The Knutsen Archives moves into its new home!

With the anticipation of sufficient Subscriber support, I have created the all new -
a permanent home for not only the Knutsen Archives, but endless harp guitar research, music, players, luthiers, you-name-it!
Thanks to everyone who voiced their support, and those who I hope will jump aboard!

Besides re-doing about a thousand links, quite a lot of new material has come in:

Two new Historical Photos of Knutsen players! Thanks to image collectors Hans Lorenz and Stefan Grossman for these.

New Instruments:

We get an additional two new identifiable instruments from the above photos: harp guitars HGP20 and HGT44.

Another harp guitar added: HGP21, an 1898 patent style with a nice original 3 sub-bass configuration (an eBay sale).

A nice Hawaiian sold on eBay: HCP17.

Finally! 3 inventoried instruments in the collection of Dusty Strings have been photographed - thanks to Gary Davidson and the store staff, but especially volunteer "Knutsen field photographer" Russ Young! Each now has a page: harp mandolin HM10, harp guitar HGS45, and get a load of yet another strange new Knutsen harp guitar style: HGS11!

And last - eBay again...this slipped through the cracks as it was poorly shown and described. If not technically the fanciest, this still may be the nicest Knutsen harp ukulele yet found. Check out HU22. Thanks to the new owner, Ed Stander!

What else? Two new contemporary harp ukes by luthiers Koji Sugiura and Steve Wise - and both are true harp ukes, with harp strings! On the Similar Instruments page.

Also on that page is a strange early 1900's Portuguese harp guitar - that was clearly inspired by a Knutsen Symphony!

And finally - my favorite (since I managed to obtain it - and need I say it? yes, eBay) - a wonderful five-course (10-string) harp mandola! But who made it?! Check out the new mystery instrument (courtesy of yours truly).

Welcome back to the Knutsen Archives - now with elbow room!

3/14/2004: The Archives Inventory has officially grown by 50% since its inception less than two years ago!
(160 instruments known in June, 2002)

New Instruments:

HHW18 - The first left-handed (almost) harp Hawaiian guitar! Why "almost"? It's a bit complicated....extra special thanks to John Bushouse for obtaining the actual specimen for the Archives!
- a third "pineapple" Hawaiian . . . with the original receipt! Thanks to Layton Knopf and son Les Scigliano.
, a new Port Townsend harp guitar (and a good candidate for an Anderson-built instrument). Thanks to Luca Lund.

Instruments already inventoried:

An unbelievable find! HGP16, the strange, "wrap-around" one-armed guitar built by Otto Anderson, has resurfaced!  What are the odds that it survived?! And, even with the Internet, what are the odds that the current owner and the Archives were able to find each other?! Is this the greatest research project, or what?! Our mutual thanks to Flip Breskin for sharing this discovery!

First photos of Hawaiian guitar HW24. Thanks to Harold Gilliam.
First photos of HW8 and new photos of HW27 - thanks to the man himself, Tom Noe.
New photos of HGT23 (offered on eBay 3/04).
Adding the above HGP19 prompted me to go back and tweak the scan of HGP10 (the similar Knutsen flyer guitar), to find and present more details for comparison.

I added another thousand words to the Knutsen-Dyer page. New Cadenza ads from 1902-1907 provide important new clues about the Knutsen-Dyer/Larsons relationship! Thanks again to scholar Paul Ruppa.

Added a 1926 photo of The Delano Hawaiian Guitar Club of Los Angeles, Cal. The group's Knutsens have been replaced with Weissenborn-made Konas. At the end of the Unidentified Knutsen Hawaiian Guitars section.

And lastly, a sweet little tenor Hawaiian that the late Dan Most started to build for Tom Noe - now completed by mutual friend Kerry Char. On the Similar Instruments page.


  • The most amazing Historical Photographs of Knutsen-playing musicians yet discovered! Must be seen to believed - with their own special page: Bert Amend and the... - yielding three new harp guitars: HGS43, HGS44, and one not yet identified. It took Knutsen aficionado Kerry Char several years to track down the photo's owner, Robin Amend - who tells his grandfather's amazing story. Many thanks to Kerry and Robin!

Other New Instruments:

  • FOUR wonderful and rare new instruments were recently unearthed by Ben Elder (my chief digger-outer-of Knutsens). All were in the "cavernous vaults" of the Folk Music Center in Claremont, CA. Courtesy of Ben, FMC owner Ellen Chase, and resident repairman/luthier/aficionado Richard "Rufie" Barnes, we bring you:
    HHW16, the second-fanciest harp-Hawaiian yet found; HHW17, another harp-Hawaiian; HP2, the second "pineapple-shaped" Hawaiian known; and HT3, a second surviving taropatch (which I was surprised and delighted to discover is HUGE)!

  • Another Hawaiian (HW28) added also.

  • Added first photo of harp guitar inv. # HGT22.

  • In the Similar Instruments Contemporary section, we have two wonderful new instruments from Canadian luthier Michael Dunn – inspired by Knutsen, these are brand new, never seen before "harp"-instruments!

  • Knutsen's English Patents! Some interesting variations...thanks again to Hawaiian music researcher John King! I've added some new comments on all the patents.

  • Re-formatted the huge Knutsen Inventory spreadsheet to a Microsoft Excel study for easier study.

  • Added a Site Map - this will help serious researchers or those with slow browsers see exactly what is on the site and where!

  • And finally, for those of you waiting patiently for Issue 2 of the Ukulele Occasional, featuring my cover story on Harp Ukuleles (which I announced on the site some time ago) - it's here! (major problems with the printer...)

And coming... HGP16, the incredible wrap-around arm Anderson-built harp guitar re-surfaces after 100 years! Photos, restoration, its "incredible journey"- coming as soon as we can. Don't miss it!

11/22/2003: Added a couple new photos of harp guitar HGT19, now on sale in the U.K. (courtesy of Ron Smith at, new photos of HCP12 (courtesy of Ben Elder), and a couple more of the tenor Hawaiian HW1 that I found buried in my files.

11/15/2003: This is how The Archives are supposed to work! The owner of HW12 (mentioned in 11/12 entry) responded not only with more photos and specs of the instrument - but also of his second Knutsen - which turns out to be the ultra-rare HCN1, re-surfacing after it's mysterious appearance in Bob Hartman's 1984 Larson Brothers book. Finally, we see the details in great new photos (thanks to owner Thomas Delago)! Now let's hear from the rest of you "closet collectors!"

11/12/2003: The tally remains the same - as we gain an instrument but lose an instrument....

Added Harp Guitar HGP18, thanks to owner William Cox.

Learned that HW12 (previously listed in the Inventory, but not pictured) is the same instrument as HW15 (poorly pictured from old guitar show photo. HW12 remains, with a new image - HW15 becomes an unassigned number. Thanks to Tom Noe, who dug up the photo and made the observation!

11/6/2003: Just back from the incredible First Annual Harp Guitar Gathering! Check out the photos! Added a new photo of HGT24.

New Instruments: Harp Guitar HGT43 pictured on a 1974 Merle Travis LP, from the collection of Stephen Bennett. Hawaiian Guitar HW27, sold on eBay.

10/17/2003: I decided it was time I assigned codes to the labels, so each instrument listing can include an accurate reference to the specific label (instead of just generic text). It's becoming crucial to the continuing dating study. These new codes appear on the Labels page, and will be added to the Inventory list and each applicable instrument page.

New instrument: Hawaiian guitar HW26, sold on eBay. Thanks to Danny Lenz.


Knutsen instruments now on sale at The Broadway! (in 1917, sorry - GM). A great new bit of history, submitted by uke researcher Jim Tranquada! Plus images of the store and downtown Los Angeles at the turn of the century from Brent Dickerson. On the Historical Photos page under Advertising.

New instrument: Hawaiian convertible HCW9, thanks to Randy Freedman.


New instruments: harp guitar HGS42, thanks to Ben Levin at Real Guitars, and harp mandolin HM20, courtesy of Duane Hoffmann!

New photos and label info of harp guitar HGT18, courtesy of the owner.

New Schireson bandurria-like instrument added to the Knutsen Harp Bandurria page. Thanks to owner Gary Schireson!


An unbelievable piece of Knutsen historical ephemera from a 1902 Cadenza magazine ! Buried in a teensy photo of "Payne's Mandolin and Guitar School" are 13 Knutsen Symphony harp guitars! Even better - "hidden in this picture" are Chris and Anna Knutsen themselves! A huge thanks to researcher Paul Ruppa, for his dedication and time spent procuring the best possible reproduction. 3 of the 13 are unique and identifiable enough to be added to the Inventory (HGT40, 41 & 42). 

New instruments: harp guitar HGT39, thanks to D. Pihlman, and Hawaiian HCP16 (photos pending), thanks to Jim Shults.

Alas - the famed Scott Chinery collection has been liquidated. Here are some additional photos of his Knutsen harp guitar HGS15, courtesy of the new owner.

Added a new hollow-armed harp guitar built by Mike Doolin on the Similar Instruments page.

And finally! Added the Ukulele Occasional to the Links and Bibliography pages. Issue 2 of this fun publication hits the streets any day now, and includes my exhaustive article on harp-ukuleles (with my Knutsen on the cover!).


New instruments: Harp guitar HGS41 and harp uke HU21 - both recent eBay offerings.

Added a great Saturday Evening Post ad depicting a Hawaiian group complete with an unmistakable Knutsen harp guitar! Thanks to Richard Strell. On the Historical Photos page.

3 new instruments on the Similar Instruments page: 
A gorgeous Bass (harp) Guitar by Antonio Monzino & Figlio, courtesy of the Archives' new European correspondent, Alex Timmerman.
An unusual Joseph Behee 12-string lyre guitar by The Lyric Guitar Company of Kansas City, Missouri, courtesy of Kathryn Crawford.
And an image of Pasquale Taraffo with his Settimo Gazzo guitar, from a marvelous CD I just discovered.

Added Bob Hartman's great (and overdue) new Larson Brothers site to the Links page.


Added the first piece of sheet music (Irving Berlin) with a Knutsen on the cover! On the Historical Photos page and its own new instrument page (HGT38). Thanks to Søren Venema.

Added first photos of Harp Mandolin HM19, once again thanks to the kind efforts of Kerry Char.

Added new photos of HGT29, thanks to new owner Dan Harris.


The One Year Anniversary of the Knutsen Archives! 55 instruments discovered and added in the first year! See the Acknowledgments page for the expanding list of contributors - without whom we would not be enjoying, studying and sharing these ultra-rare instruments. THANK YOU!

Newflash: Added an entire new, never-before-seen (or imagined!) harp guitar variation - the "zither harp guitar" (HGS40)! Included the site's first sound sample also. I'm hugely indebted to the discoverer, Kerry Char!

Other new instruments: Hawaiian HW25 courtesy of Dale Hale. Added harp-Hawaiian HHW15 (thanks to Ian McLatchie) and harp mando HM19 (thanks to David Rusaw) to Inventory list (photos are forthcoming). The mandolin will be a nice addition as it is only the second "Lower Bass Point" example known.

New photos: First photos of a nice late period harp guitar (HGS19) - special thanks to Kirsti Scutt Edwards and the staff at the Experience Music Project, Seattle. New pics and notes of HGS26 - the Harp 12-string! Thanks once again to Jonathan Kellerman. These two instruments also helped create a new photo study for the Harp Guitar Evolution page. New post-restoration photos of the Ingman Strum guitar (HGS35), courtesy of Dan'l Terry. New, better photos of Michael Hedges' Knutsen (HGS17) - sent by Mike Marken.

Added a super rare Almcrantz guitar to the Similar Instruments page, thanks to an anonymous donor. And on the same page, some new Knutsen-inspired harp guitar and harp mandolin designs, courtesy of the builder, Anthony Powell.

Links: Added the new web site of Kerry Char: guitar maker (improved Dyer copies), restoration expert and Knutsen aficionado.


  • Determined that HGT23 & HGT24 were the same instrument (I knew this might happen eventually!). HGT24 page remains. 

  • The now available Inventory number, HGT23, was assigned to a new Symphony harp guitar with a paddle-shaped headstock! 

  • Changed ownership of Hawaiian guitar HCW6 and added improved photos.

  • Added a better picture of that strange "Sombrero Guy" (now shown in 3 poses, no one should mistake him for Groucho). Courtesy of John Doan. On the Historical Photos page. 

  • Added to the Bibliography page: Acoustic Guitar May 2003: Reviving a Classic: The harp guitar makes a comeback. Great article by Michael Simmons.

  • Added a picture of the inside of HGT37 to its page and on the Braces page. Courtesy of Kerry Char.

  • Changed ownership and added new pictures of Dan Most's harp guitar HGP3. Thanks to Intermountain Guitar & Banjo.

  • Added a picture of a 14-string bandurria to the Harp Bandurria page. Thanks to Jill Reese.

  • Added a nice French hollow-arm harp guitar to the Similar Instruments page. Courtesy of Benoît Meulle-Stef.

  • For the 4th (and final!) time, I added another 10mB of space and re-distributed the pages to allow The Knutsen Archives to continue to grow!


  • Added new harp guitar HGT37

  • Added new, improved and additional pictures of the Anderson-built Knutsen guitar HGP15 and Anderson's violin.

  • Added a picture of two lauds for reference on the Harp Bandurria page (HBA1). All above items thanks to Kerry Char!

  • Added a link to the NorwayHeritage transcription project  -  a group of volunteers dedicated to getting all of the pre-1875 Norwegian emigrants listed in an online database. See the ship Knutsen emigrated on! Off the Biographical and Links pages. Thanks to Jean Findlay for submitting.


  • jean,gregg.jpg (41787 bytes) Guess who recently came to visit?! Knutsen relative and researcher Jean Findlay and her husband Gilbert. I don't know who had more fun - the Findlays getting a close-up look at a bunch of Chris' instruments - or me, looking at photographs from cousin Linda Cameron's photo albums! These included the "Day Book" in which Chris' mother Bergetta recorded the births of each of the children - including "Christian". This and new family photos can be seen on the Historical Photos page. We are all indebted to Linda and Jean for these treasures! (pictured: Gregg Miner, curator of the Knutsen Archives and Jean Findlay - in front of the Knutsens in the Miner Museum of Vintage, Exotic & Just Plain Unusual Musical Instruments)

  • Added first photos of harp guitar HGS32, pictured in a 1960s John D. Loudermilk songbook (given to him by Chet Atkins)! The image was also added to the Historical Photos page. Thanks to Ben Elder for unearthing it!

  • Added another strange "Knutsen-esque" Hawaiian guitar on the Similar Instruments page. I'll mention it again - if anyone wants to step up and volunteer, now's the time for someone to start "The Hawaiian Guitar Archives"!


  • Added a previously unknown instrument, which gives us a whole new Knutsen category - a Knutsen Harp Bandurria (HBA1)! On the Mandolins page. Thanks to the owners, Alan & Rachelle Frazier!

  • Added new harp uke HU20. Thanks to Kenneth Fleegle!


  • Added a Historical Photo of the original owner of HGS22 - she's Tina Sofia Bohman, the maternal grandmother of the guitar's current owner. Thanks to the lucky grandson, Gregory Furse!

  • Added a rare London-made La Foley Hawaiian guitar in the style of Knutsen/Weissenborn - thanks to the owner John Lathey. NOTE: I'm coming across many wonderful little-known Hawaiians of this style, which I feel should be cataloged and shared. Unfortunately, I don't think I can handle the research or the web space requirements (pages like this may be only temporary) - so if anyone wants to step up and volunteer, now's the time for someone to start "The Hawaiian Guitar Archives"!


  • Added a wonderful photo of famed Hawaiian guitar master Joseph Kekuku (the legendary inventor of the steel guitar), whose guitarist is playing a super rare Knutsen harp guitar, new to inventory (HGS39). On the Historical Photos and Harp Guitars pages. Another great find by ukulele and Hawaiian music historian John King! Thanks also to Kathryn Hodson of the Redpath Chautauqua Bureau, Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

  • Filled out and adjusted the date ranges on the Labels page and all instruments in inventory.

  • Added the many "Knutsen-esque" patents (featured on the Similar Instruments page) to the main Knutsen Patents page for comparison.


  • Added two new harp ukes: HU18 (thanks to Michael Simmons and Francois Charle), and HU19 (thanks to Randy Klimpert).

  • Added new photos of my now-restored fancy harp uke (HU16).

  • Reorganized the harp ukuleles into groups by "style" of woods and trim.

  • Added some new thoughts and hypotheses, and tweaked some dates on the Labels page.

  • Added some thoughts on the lack of Post-Seattle harp guitars to the Harp Guitars page.

  • Added new, better photos of HGS38 - the harp guitar from the AYPE. These now show a fancy pickguard - almost unheard of on a Knutsen harp guitar!

  • Added 3 fascinating patents of turn-of-the-century "Knutsen-esque" instruments on the Similar Instruments page.

  • Reorganized the list of site contributors on the Mission/Acknowledgements page so that they can better see their "name in lights."


  • Added HGT36, a new Evolving Symphony guitar. Thanks to Greg Nunley.

  • Added additional material to the Harp Guitar Evolution page.

  • Added HW24 (a hollow-neck Hawaiian) to Inventory (no images yet).


  • Added a great new Historical Photo from the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Expo - which gives us new harp guitar HGS38. From the University of Washington Libraries and thanks to submitter John King.

  • The above guitar helped me clarify and tweak the Seattle harp guitar dates and evolution - see Harp Guitar and H.G. Evolution pages.

  • Added new Hawaiian guitar . Thanks to Kevin Fairfield.


  • Very interesting discovery! HGS35, Ingman Strum's personal harp guitar (known from a rare 1919 photograph), seems to have re-surfaced on Ebay! For now, I'm treating both as HGS35 - see new photos and information on that page. 

  • First photos of HGP17, another important early instrument with an original nut and a fancy, carved bridge. The headstock and bridge have also been added to the Knutsen/Anderson page for study. Thanks to john Roberts.

  • Added new uke HU17.

  • Added harp guitar HGS37. Thanks to Jim Myers.

  • Added an additional image of HGP3, a guitar from the Dan Most collection, recently offered on Ebay.


  • Added some nice comments from Linda Cameron (Chris Knutsen's great-great niece) on the Historical Photos page.

  • Added a very interesting Knutsen-esque 12-string guitar to the Similar Instruments page. Thanks to Sid Glickman.

  • Added pictures of short-armed Seattle harp guitar HGS20. Thanks to Colin McCubbin.

  • Added another ca. 1903 label variation to the Labels page. Thanks to Mike Doolin.

August - November 24, 2002: Major Update: 

  • Added several new pages (a whole new chapter!) on the subject of Otto Anderson, a man who built instruments for Knutsen. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of Otto's granddaughter, Jeanette Detlor, we now have (all off the main Biographical page): Anderson main page, Jeanette's Story, the Knutsen-Anderson Connection, Ingman Strum, new harp guitars HGP15, HGP16, HGS35 & HGS36, the first "harp-violin" HV1, a standard violin, many new historical photos (both on the Anderson and the Historical Photos pages), including the only known original copy of the first Knutsen family photograph! - which also gives us a new guitar (HGT33). Thanks, Detlors!

  • I re-organized and changed the comments on the "Evolving Symphony" harp guitars, after carefully studying the bass headstocks and other features.

  • New family trees from Jean Findlay: Chris' Grandfather-to-Chris, and Chris' descendants.

  • Added pictures of the newly restored HGS26 Double-Point! courtesy of Danl.

  • Added a nice Harp-Hawaiian (HHW14), courtesy of Chris Darrow.

  • Added harp guitar HGT35, courtesy of Mike Doolin.

  • Added harp guitar HGP17 and Hawaiian HCW8 to inventory (no photos as of yet).

  • Added the fanciest harp uke yet found (HU16)! Thanks to Steve Keim, who generously offered the instrument to me.

  • Added a great new Historical Photo of a harp guitar-playing couple - but whose guitars are they? Thanks to the great flea market hunter, Jeff Carr.

  • Added harp mandolin HM18. Thanks to Phil.

  • Hawaiian guitar HCW7 added. Thanks to Guitarville and Kirk Francis.

  • Added new pictures of and information on Hawaiian guitar HW13, thanks to Phil Emerson and Jeff Hollingsworth.

  • Thanks to Ben Elder for his "Knutsen files" - a treasure trove I was allowed to dig through, which yielded: 11 new instruments - 9 Hawaiians (HW14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21 & 22, HHW13), a mandolin (HM17) and an unusual ukulele (HU15), which was also added to the Uke Comparisons. In addition to the new listings, I obtained new, improved photos and specifications of the Hawaiians HCS3, HP1, HP12, HTD1 (including a new label), HHW4 & HHW11; plus photos of Bob Brozman's harp guitar (HGS31) - both the existing instrument, and from an old postcard! Last but not least is a terrific new Historical Photo of Knutsen player Bessie Keanui, plus another Knutsen player from the Los Angeles Library.

  • From Kerry Char: First photos of his own guitar (HGS33) and mandolin (HM11). New photos of HGP9. Color photos of the only known mandola (HMA1) and only known Brazilian rosewood harp guitar (HGT15), with a new label image also. More photos of Dan Most's "Lower Bass Point" Dyer harp guitar.

  • Also thanks to Kerry: I've added a new page on the bracing of Knutsen's instruments, featuring some of Dan Most's repairs-in-progress (on the Instruments page). Also some additional photos of Dan's instruments HGP1, HGP6, HGT3, HGS3, HGS6, HGS7 & HGS8 (I corrected the description of HGS8 subsequently).

  • Added new harp guitars, HGP14 & HGT32, courtesy of Neil Russell, and HGT34, courtesy of Mark Schlipper.

  • New photos of a Dyer harp mandocello - believe it or not, these are the very first color photographs of a Dyer harp mandocello ever published  - courtesy of the lucky owner, Ron Petit. On Was the Dyer harp mandolin a Knutsen design? page off the main Mandolin page.

  • A postcard from the Panama-Pacific International Expo, which we think includes a Knutsen harp guitar, from the collection of Jeff Carr.

  • I added a Historical Photos Gallery - all the thumbnails on one page without the text. Quite a display!

  • Bass headstocks of HGT33 & HGS31 added to Knutsen Harp Guitar Evolution.

  • Added some very strange new instruments at bottom of Similar Instruments page.

  • And finally, Ben Elder sent me on another wild (albeit ultimately fruitful) goose chase: William Peter Pester, the Knutsen-playing Palm Springs hermit! See Historical Photo page and a new instrument (HW19) on the Hawaiians page.

  • 7/19/2002: Posted new, detailed images of the bass string nut (the "mystery nut" of the 1898 patent drawing) of HGP9 on the Harp Guitars page. Thanks again to Jean Findlay.

  • 7/18/2002: Updated HW13 to show the unusual Kona-style bridge; also added to Comparing Knutsen's Hawaiians.

  • 7/15/2002: Added a new page with photos for HCP15 on Hawaiians page. 

  • 7/13/2002: Added more photos of a wonderful contemporary harp ukulele by Harry Eibert, courtesy of owner Chuck Fayne. On the Similar Instruments page.

  • 7/10/2002: Added a new harp mandolin, HM13 on the Mandolins page and Comparing the Harp Mandolins page. Thanks to Tom Noe for the tip!

  • 7/7/2002: Added 2 new Hawaiians: HCW6 & HW13 on Hawaiians page. Thanks to Ben Levin at Real Guitars in San Francisco.
    Added to Inventory (no images): HCP15, HW12, HM16.

  • 7/5/2002: Added A Knutsen Bass?, a new page on the Wheeler & Woolsey guitar on the Hawaiians page.

  • 7/3/2002: Added images from a 1934 Wheeler & Woolsey comedy featuring some sort of huge Knutsen-esque guitar. Thanks to Ben Elder who led me on this strange treasure hunt! On the Historical Photos page.

  • 6/30/2002: Added a new variation of an "1898 Patent Style" harp guitar (HGP13) on harp guitar page. Thanks to Ben Elder for the discovery!

  • 6/28/2002: Added a comparison of Hawaiian guitar bridges on the Comparing Knutsen's Hawaiians page.

  • 6/25/2002: Thanks to Chris Wilhelm for a better picture of the Knutsen/Cammen girls with their ukes. On the Historical Photos and Ukes pages.

  • 6/23/2002: First update: Thanks to Andy Roth and Chris Wilhelm for new submissions.
    Added new photos of the harp taropatch.
    Added new photo of Michael Hedges in Historical Photos, and his Knutsen on harp guitar page (HGS17).
    Added 2 Hawaiian guitar links.
    Corrected problem links.

  • 6/22/2002: The Knutsen Archives go public.

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