Knutsen 9-String Harp Guitar , c. 1912

Knutsen  9-String Harp Guitar ,  c. 1912

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Item # 4415
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Knutsen 9-String Model Harp Guitar, c. 1912, made in Tacoma, Washington, black top,natural back and sides finish, burl mahogany back and sides, spruce top; poplar neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown hard shell case.

One of America's most creative-if least celebrated-20th century luthiers was Chris Knutesn, who hand-built his his always eccentric instruments on the west coast from the 1890's through the 1920's. While his Hawaiian guitar designs were popularized by Hermann Weissenborn and his harp guitars by the Larson Brothers (under the Dyer label) Knutsen himself seems to have never been interested in becoming a manufacturer. He tinkered endlessly with his highly original stringed concepts, and each instrument is distinctive, often appearing to be built from found woods and whatever hardware was available.

This 9-string harp guitar is typical of Knutsen's later multi-string instruments.
 
Overall length is 39 3/4 in. (101 cm.), 15 1/8 in. (38.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 1/2 in. (622 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.). Some small repairs but overall better preserved-and less re-worked-than most surviving Knutsen instruments. Appears completely original includung the hand-carved wooden bridge pins and celluloid-button strip tuners. All original finish with some small areas of touch-up over several repaired areas. These are a repaired crack on either side of the sound hole, a long-ago repaired grain split from the top of the harp string headblock and one long repaired back crack on the lower bout. The back center seam has been re-sealed as well. The neck angle is good, the original bridge solid and playability is excellent by Knuten standards.

Overall Very Good + Condition.