I’m almost at the point where I could emulate those great old Mandolin Brothers catalogs where Stan Jay and staff dressed up in outfits duplicating some old iconic musical group photo and posed similarly with the exact same instrument models that they had then in stock. They really went the extra mile and obviously had fun doing it.
That’s what I briefly considered doing with this new one. But I’m not yet that inspired and have only attempted it once (Maccaferri>Miner at right). But I’ve got enough vintage instruments now and old photos that I could probably do a whole series with harp guitars (like I need another hobby). This latest instrument would have been perfect.
I knew this ultra-rare and obscure surviving G. A. Carlson harp guitar was not the one in this historical photo I’ve long had on the site…but close enough; they are truly nearly identical twins.
That’s actually the main reason I put in a small bid when the poor condition instrument went up on eBay (for the second time) earlier this year. Rather surprised to get it for its low opening bid (and that I was the only bidder?), I then hoped that it would be something decent enough to turn over. I just wanted to examine it and get proper archival photos before doing so.
After putting on a couple of temp strings I could tell that this thing promised some serious tone and volume, so I decided to go ahead with restoration. I was not disappointed. I love it when I play the eBay game and win!
Anyway, you can read more about this unique instrument, along with much more on the instruments of G. A. Carlson in the new Harp Guitar of the Month.