Color: Natural, Rating: 8.75, Sold (ID# 01784)
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A Rare Dyer Style 1920s Harp Guitar


1920 Majestic Harp Guitar by Gaetano F. Puntolillo


This beautiful, ca. 1920 'Harp' guitar weighs just 6.20 lbs. Two-piece carved straight-grain spruce top with a 5/16 inch marquetry border and a marquetry bound 3 1/2 inch diameter sound-hole, inlaid with variegated woods of conventional design. Original specific-shape tortoiseshell pickguard affixed to top. Two-piece mahogany back with 1/4 inch marquetry center strip and brown pyralin edging. Mahogany sides. Two-piece mahogany neck with maple and walnut center strips, a nut width of 1 3/4 inches, a scale length of 24 1/4 inches and a thick profile. Rosewood fretboard with 18 thin frets and highly decorative and very intricate abalone position markers. Walnut faced (front and back) 'slotted' headstock with 'banner-style' "Majestic" inlaid in mother-of-pearl and engraved in black. Rear facing, six-on-one-side strip tuners with ivory oval buttons. The six-string, sub-bass 'Harp' neck is a hollow extension of the body (with a marquetry-bound diamond-shaped soundhole) and has a walnut faced, 'slotted' headstock with rear facing, six-on-one-side strip tuners with ivory oval buttons. Six-string guitar with bone saddle on walnut base. Harp guitar also with bone bridge on the same walnut base, both with original? ivory pins. The extreme length of this instrument is 42 inches, the body length is 19 3/8 inches, the body width is 14 1/2 inches, and the body depth is just under 4 1/4 inches. The guitar neck has been expertly re-fretted with the correct gauge thin fretwire. The top has several expertly repaired cracks and there is also an expertly repaired crack on the bass-side of the back and a small piece (7/8 x 1/2 inch) chipped away on upper bass waist of the top. Inside the sound-hole is the original rectangular pale green printed label with "Established 1900 / Phone Canal 3644 / Mandolins / G.F. Puntolillo / Manufacturer of / Majestic Banjos / and High Grade Musical Instruments / Guitars / 35 Spring Street / New York City". Overall this nearly 100 year old harp guitar is in excellent plus (8.75) condition. There is no case with this instrument. This actual guitar is from the famous Chinery collection and is featured in the book. "Gaetano F. Puntolillo was a New York-based inventor who used the Majestic brand for his instruments, primarily banjos which tend to date from the 1920s. This rare harp guitar is based on Chris Knutsen's design, popularized by the Larson-made Dyer instruments". (The Chinery Collection, p.29).

"During the late 1990's, those of us with a passion for historical guitars (of all types) watched with interest and admitted longing as millionaire guitar aficionado Scott Chinery assembled one of the largest collections of guitars in the world. The breadth and variety of the guitars was staggering, and included about twenty harp guitars! When he passed away suddenly in 2002, the obvious question was what would happen to the collection. After an unsuccessful attempt to donate the collection to the Smithsonian, and courting by some of the major auction houses, the Chinery family eventually decided to sell nearly the entire collection to vintage guitar buff Michael Indelicato. As I understand it, of the harp guitars, the Dyer Symphony Style 8 and the ornate Gibson were kept by the family. Several of the harp guitars were quickly sold, while the rest formed part of the inventory of E*Guitars, the new vintage super-store created by Michael. Most of us are familiar with the 10 harp guitars presented in The Chinery Collection (later re-printed rather unceremoniously by Tony Bacon as History of the American Guitar). Additionally, 7 of these were used on Masterpiece Guitars, the CD by Martin Taylor and Steve Howe. Unknown were the several instruments not presented in either of the above projects, which are included here, courtesy of E*Guitars. With their cooperation. It's too bad this remarkable set of obscure instruments couldn't have stayed together on permanent display somewhere." (

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