Latest Additions to
|Maintained by Gregg Miner|
Last Major Update: 2008
instruments now known!
(* = known to have been built. About 75% survive)
Note: Since my last major update in 2008, I have been unable to keep up with the
There are now at least 100 new specimens to add to the count below!
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.
Instruments: Still 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.
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.
Instruments: A fairly "quiet" year, with only 19 new specimens discovered. The rarities are mostly in the Hawaiian area. New instruments and/or photos:
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):
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:
Additional, more “normal,” but
always valuable, finds include:
Last one is from a postcard listed below.
Photos: Many new treasures!
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
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.
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 Harpguitars.net -
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.
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!
- 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!
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.
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.
Other New Instruments:
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 Frets.co.uk), 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!
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 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!).
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
Added Bob Hartman's great (and overdue) new Larson Brothers site to the Links page.
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.
August - November 24, 2002: Major Update:
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