Gibson c.1908 Style U Harp Guitar
A Uniquely Affordable Diamond in the Rough Dumpster Find!


Apparently, we should all be scouting our local dumps more regularly! That’s where all the original pieces of this classic harp guitar were found many years ago.

The son of the finder took it to a local luthier, who after some years had not finished the repairs. Eventually, it was offered to the current owner, also a luthier, in Bellingham, Washington. This current owner finished the basic repairs, mainly so he could play and hear it. He’s now thinning his guitar collection, and hopes someone will give it a new home.

Some details from the owner:

“I feel that it could be a good project for someone. Everything is original except for some of the string pins. All ten friction tuners are in good working order as are the geared tuners. The bridge plate is new. The finish has not been touched. With a little work the top and back can be given a better fit to the ribs. The head is a bit of a mess. Given that it came in pieces from the dump I did not spend much as much time on it. Old repairs look to be the head – a major crack and some “Gibson” inlay missing, crack on the top filled with a spline, another top crack had a couple of cleats, the back has many scratches, several cracks glued, back and top glued to sides with hide glue (to facilitate any future work), different shrinkage rates leaving the sides with a less than perfect fit. Finish is original. All metal parts are original. Sides and binding are all intact.  It is playable and sounds fine. The number 7694 was in pencil in the inside of the back.”

As for this Gibson model, for those not familiar with it, this is the giant 21” wide Style U with 10 sub-basses that came just before the smaller common model with the “trapeze” tailpiece. Many say these sound better (they do). Frankly, there is just nothing as dramatic on your wall or in your lap than a 21” Gibson HG!

Despite the fact that the consignor considers this a “project” and “hopes someone new may wish to refurbish and restore it,” my feeling is that it could certainly be left “as is” as a past and future “well-loved” collector and player instrument.

We’ve priced this to sell. Not included in the price is the shipping estimate, which will be quoted from Bellingham, WA (this will be a huge box). As always, buyer will have the right to inspect and return, no questions asked (though responsible for shipping).

Isn't it time you joined the Gibson harp guitar club?!

Gregg "Sir Gregory" Miner

Specifications (per owner):

  • Gibson c.1908 “U” model
  • Serial number 7694
  • Carved top and back
  • Carved bridge
  • Ebony finger board
  • Original frets, a tiny amount of wear on 1st and 2nd frets Pearl dots, side dots
  • 10 sub-bass strings, nylon core except the lowest which is steel core (strings expected to be changed by next owner)
  • Scale: 25-3/4”
  • Body: Lower bout 21 1/4”, Upper bout 16”, waist 12 3/8”, body length 29 3/4”, overall length 47”
  • Action at 12th fret: 5mm (3/16”); action at the nut about 1mm
  • No case


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