Gibson Harp Guitar
Combining the best of the harp and guitar
The harp guitar evolved from various attempts in Europe and the British Isles to combine elements of the guitar and the harp to create one instrument. This U-Style harp guitar was one of the biggest harp guitars ever crafted.
Manufactured in the United States by Orville Gibson in the early 20th century, the harp guitar was available in four models ranging from guitars with six to twelve additional strings. Since this particular guitar was so big, Gibson added a metal reinforcement rod to the back of the instrument that could be tightening to keep the guitar from bowing or bending under the strain.
Harp guitars were popular as showpieces in homes, where they could serve as furniture. Instrumentally, they were used as part of stringed bands to accompany banjos, mandolins, and traditional 6-string guitars. Gibson stopped producing the harp guitar after sales declined in the 1920s.
National GUITAR Museum
Time Period: 1866 - 1936
This artifact is currently on view.