Collector Rainer Krause

Rainer Krause (center), of Berlin, was/is/will be perhaps the foremost harp guitar collector in Germany, if not the world.  I say “was” because he loaned 54 of his guitars to the MIM (Musikinstrumentenmuseum in Berlin), who subsequently bought his entire collection (in 2007), including all the harp guitars.  The thing is, like all true collectors, Rainer didn’t stop.  He now has another 70 guitars, which include numerous harp guitars – the most recent of which is the very Lacote decacorde I blogged about just last week!

His site will be undergoing changes as he removes a couple dozen instruments he no longer owns, and adds his new acquistions.  I can hardly keep up with the latter.  Here are 6 of his more recent that I have not yet added to the various Galleries.

This 1920 instrument is by Michael Nowy of Vienna, and is one of the more unusual I have seen.  The oval body is something we see from time to time, but the vaguely heart-shaped, “cut-out” bottom is quite unique!  Note also the rounded back.

A little more “normal” is this 1907 instrument by Hermann Trapp – but check out the elaborate headstock!  Not sure what’s going on with that rosette decoration though…

Then there are new wappenform (shield-shaped) harp guitars, including (L-R), from Munich, a 1904 Franz Halbemeyer (with 3 basses off a Stauffer-shaped headstock) and a 1927 Hans Raab (with a very interesting extension with short metal coverplate for the 3 subs).  Last is a Xaver Kerschensteiner from around 1920 from the town of Regensburg in Bavaria.


Lastly, my favorite, and not even a harp guitar…in fact, not a hollow-arm (perhaps a hollow-arm still in training).  But it’s a Mozzani, so will go up in the Mozzani archives.  It’s the first one of these I seen in color, and what a spectacular prize!

Keep them coming, Rainer!  And when the MIM runs out of room, give me a call next time, will you?!

  1. Darrell Says:

    Is the Mozz a Hawaiian?

  2. Gregg Says:

    What an interesting question, Darrell – what makes you ask? No, as far as I can determine, the Mozzani shop never made a Hawaiian model. However, Rainer just now told me that this specimen was, in fact, a harp guitar – it has been modified into a 6-string (yes, this always makes my blood boil). Like most Mozzani designs, this model (the chitarra a mezza colonna, or “guitar with half column”) was made in both 6-string and harp versions. Originally, it probably looked like this. Rainer also sent images of 2 new specimens, which I’ll get up shortly…

  3. Darrell Says:

    Just wondered about the neck shape, is it an optical illusion (due to the laminatons) or is it really that rectangular in profile? Seems like it’d be rather uncomfortable unless you were playing in the strictest classical position.. which I suppose was the point. ?

  4. Gregg Says:

    It’s probably very rectangular. Did I not have the Mozzani when you were over last? The neck is essentially a rectangle – like a half inch thick and 2 inches wide. I’m not the only guitarist who’s admitted how comfortable it is!

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