German Zither

German Zither

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Description (Brief)

This zither was made by and unknown maker in Germany, around 1878-1882, and sold by the J. Howard Foote Company in New York and Chicago. It is made from rosewood, finely inlaid around the edges, with 30 strings, metal tuning pins, and with a patent head.

John Howard Foote (1833-1896) was a musical instrument dealer with shops in New York City and Chicago. This instrument listed in an 1880 J. Howard Foote catalog, sold as a zither (#6037), for $21.25.

Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
place made
Physical Description
rosewood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 2 1/4 in x 12 in x 20 in; 5.715 cm x 30.48 cm x 50.8 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of J. Howard Foote
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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We have one of these and I found an article about the man who may have made these. Dates seem to match up. We’re still looking more into ours which was passed down in family who happened to be in that area back then. Just wanted to give you this.

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