Chris Knutsen Harp Ukulele
to expand photos to maximum size
Provenance: None, unfortunately. I acquired it in 2002, the owner having no knowledge of its history.
There are currently 36 Knutsen harp ukuleles known to survive (no, my Knutsen Archives are not up to date). For the last 15 years, this was the only example known with full rope binding, including on the back. Further, this has extremely delicate rope (small pieces of alternating colored wood), and this is a charming instrument indeed.
Knutsen harp ukes are not "great players," thought they certainly can be (played). There is no separate fingerboard, the neck joint is fairly comical, while the action can be adjusted by Knutsen's never-patented hinged joint/L-bracket invention. This one sounds quite sweet and appears on my all-Knutsen recording (and accompanying book), at right.
All koa wood, standard 13-9/16" scale.
No label on this one (they were built from around 1914 to 1930, when Knutsen died), and no case.
Condition: Kerry Char restored it in 2003. The repaired top crack was (I think) already there. The neck to headstock had been cracked and someone had done an OK repair to replace the back of the neck. Kerry re-did that, doing a much better job, though the seam is of course obvious. The side seams (blending in to the original rope-bound fretboard) are fine.
* As you may have guessed, I'm only able to deaccession this prize as I managed an upgrade, believe it or not. So my gain is your gain!
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