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Brucebubs 07-25-2014 04:35 PM

Amazing 1916 Gibson Harp Guitar
Check out this ebay listing for an amazing looking 1916 Gibson Harp Guitar;
I really, kind of, sort of like it!

JP McD 07-25-2014 04:55 PM

I've always been fascinated by these. There is some great harp guitar playing on one of the Alan Lomax Library of Congress records I have . Or was it the Harry Smith Anthology? At any rate, they are amazing. I can't believe the condition this one appears to be in.

zombywoof 07-25-2014 05:13 PM

Many years ago I owned one. I found it hanging on the wall of some store as a decoration, made them an offer and walked out with it. Awkward to play and not the best sounding Gibson I ever held. But definitely cool looking.

Wade Hampton 07-25-2014 05:25 PM

Bruce, pre-WWI Gibson archtop harp-guitars are actually fairly common in the United States: I've seen at least a dozen of them over the years, mostly hanging on the walls of music stores with "Do Not Touch" and "Not For Sale" signs on them.

They do come on the market now and then, though, and the prices are surprisingly reasonable most of the time. The reason for that is that the serious harp-guitar players (and there ARE such people,) tend to prefer the design of the flattop harp-guitars built by the Larson Brothers under various brand names such as Maurer and Dyer. Here's a modern reproduction of one:

Here's the late Michael Hedges with some:

and here he is with a Knutsen harp-guitar, which was the design that inspired the Larson Brothers:

Just for grins, here's a vintage photo showing a trio that featured the harp-guitar:

The website that features these photos can be found here:

And just because it's such a cool photo, here's one more picture that shows a harp-guitar player with buddies who have matching mandolins:

Hope this helps.

Wade Hampton Miller

Scootch 07-25-2014 05:35 PM

They remind me of a Picasso

Brucebubs 07-25-2014 07:05 PM

Thanks for that information and great pictures Wade. I was really impressed with the condition of this guitar/harp on ebay. The label still looks fresh, like it was printed a year ago and not 98 years ago. Thanks again.

jay7347 07-25-2014 07:48 PM

Hey Wade, thanks for the informative post. I'm sure quite a few folks on this forum have never even heard of a harp guitar. I have to say that the Gibson mentioned looks to be in fine condition. My assumption is that this listing has not escaped the gaze of a few specific harp guitar enthusiasts. ;-)


The Growler 07-25-2014 10:39 PM

I have a friend who plays one and it really is cool. Most people have no idea what it is. Very cool.

zombywoof 07-25-2014 10:49 PM

I have always wanted to try harp guitar built by Mario Maccaferri. They are just about the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

Ted @ LA Guitar Sales 07-25-2014 11:27 PM

I think these vintage Gibson Harp Guitars are vastly under rated by collectors, when we sold the one pictured below I felt I was giving it away.

Teleplucker 07-25-2014 11:33 PM

Tom Shinness is one of the very few harp guitar players that uses a Gibson Harp Guitar. He is a great player

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