Grunewald Harp-Guitar, c.1897-1900 

America's pre-12-string guitar invention!

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NOTE: I always strive to represent instrument's color and condition as accurately as possible


Provenance: An eBay purchase. Originally built in New Orleans just before the turn of the previous century, restored for first-position playability by Bill Fiorella.

No 12-string guitar player, collector or historian should be without the Grunewald. As I maintain in my (groundbreaking, if I do say so myself) article The Birth of the American 12-string Guitar, it was important, and perhaps key, to the development of our modern 12-string guitar. It was a licensed variation of an invention called, strangely enough, the "Harp-Guitar" - so-called from the enhanced tone from the octave courses. You'll note it only has 10 strings, as the inventor (and Grunewald, at first) didn't think doubling the high two strings in unison would have any point. 

Though original marketing materials imply that hundreds if not thousands were sold, they are incredibly rare. I seek out every one I can find for research, and have only seen a half dozen, finally managing to get this one. It sounds very nice, but as stated above, would need a neck reset to play up the neck (which remains extremely straight). The asymmetric headstock is of course part of the appeal and I especially like the bridge design. The first specimens had an internal lever device that would move the octave strings out of the way so one could play it as a standard 6-string; I've yet to see one with that feature. I've archived three with this exact bridge, including the extra bridge pin "decorations." Later 10-string Grunewalds had a plain rectangular bridge as did their later post-1900 12-strings.


Only the head veneer is Brazilian rosewood. The back and sides are mahogany with faux-rosewood finish. Top Is spruce with herringbone binding. Dimensions are 18-1/2" body length, 9-5/8" upper bout, 13" lower bout width, 3-7/8" deep at endpin. Nut width is 1-7/8" and total length is 38-1/2".

Early Americana at its finest!

No case. Please note that I got ripped off by the eBay seller and put way too much into restoration, so am selling at a loss.
Price: SOLD
Shipping not included; 48-hour approval period

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