Acoustic Hollow Body Harp guitar
Ten extra low-tuned strings
Arched black stained spruce top, mahogany back and neck, mother of pearl inlays
Gibson started designing harp guitars from 1903 and offered four models that went up in terms of extras and price (Style’s R, R1, U, and U1). The different models have an octagonal harp arm in common, that runs behind the body up to the edge and is attached to the waist of the guitar. Another arm runs parallel to the harp arm and is part of the internal construction of the body. Gibson thus ensured that this Instrument would not collapse due to the immense tension that the bass strings exert. The piano-like construction also contributes to the instrument’s remarkable sustain.
This Style Ul harp guitar was one of the more expensive Gibson models. It is a huge piece, 53.25 cm / 21 inches wide and 122 cm / 48 inches long, and originally designed to be played as a cello. It was therefore delivered with a steel pin that can be slid out at the bottom. Despite their extraordinary features and Belle-Epoque charm, these instruments remain museum pieces and are hardly ever played today.