Weissenborn | Hawaiian Style 2 | 1920’s | 2 (our database)
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- Model: Weissenborn Style2
- Year: 1920’s
- Top: Koa
- Back and sides: Koa
- black celluloid top and back body binding
- rope binding around the soundhole
- white wood fingerboard binding
- Scale 25 in.
- Length: 39 in.
- Upper bout: 10-1/4 in.
- Lower bout: 15-1/4 in.
German born Hermann Weissenborn initially started in New York but moved to Los Angeles around 1910 and offered a more standardised, refined building philosophy than Chris Knutsen and his guitars featured mostly x braced koa tops and several different “styles” with increasing levels of ornamentation. His “Weissenborn” guitars have an entirely hollow neck and were designed for. This is a great original example of the midranged Style 2. Interesting the knot shadow on the back does not preclude the koa from being used in this fine instrument!
The prior owner has this to say about this guitar ” This instrument retains its original varnish finish that has not been rubbed out or tampered with in any way, it has the typical varnish style mosaic-like checking which many people opt to rub out or “French polish” as is done on violins. This instrument retains perfect and un-molested varnish which exhibits every year of this guitars age.
The original varnish is in super clean original condition, there is almost no actual playing wear or abuse wear. The top of this instrument is un-cracked and perfect, the bridge is down, there is almost no belly behind the bridge. The bridge itself is walnut stained flamed maple as per most of these, this one is perfect with original bridge pins made of ivroid.
The Koa fingerboard is perfect and looks new, the mother of pearl inlays are spectacular. The peghead looks like a plain grained light mahogany, but could be a non-eventful piece of Koa. The tuners are original and perfect with original slot head screws. The sides of the instrument are perfect with minor varnish checking and some factory stress marks as a result of bending the side, as pictured non-issue.
The back of the guitar is perfect with typical varnish checking and a drying crack (approximately 8″) that does not connect to itself and may not even go through the wood completely. It has not been addressed or repaired in any way. The original Weissenborn label is intact and says “HERMAN WEISSENBORN LOS ANGELES, CAL HAWAIIAN GUITAR” and is the earlier label that sports a photo of good ole’ Herman holding what appears to be a style 4.
As far as we know this is the earliest label and is also considered very rare, but I’m not sure exactly what year that makes the guitar other than being an early one. I have had earlier instruments, some of which were not stamped or labeled, this one has a paper label only and no Weissenborn stamp that we can see. The best and most interesting feature of this lovely guitar is the wood.
The high contrast matched Koa wood is absolutely the best I’ve seen on any style Weissenborn and I have had many. The grain fluctuates between dark brown two reddish brown to light carmel brown. The grain pattern is fantastic, the color is unbelievable, even though this is a Style 2 it is just unbelievable wood”
Classic Instruments, Weissenborn Style#4, By: George Gruhn and Walter Carter, vintage guitar magazine, 3/13/2009
Christiaan Oyens, Weissenborn Knutsen the Hawaiian Steeel Guitar
Pictures kind courtesy of Vintage Gear Hollywood
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