Plucked Dulcimer and Case used by Jean Ritchie

Plucked Dulcimer and Case used by Jean Ritchie

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Description (Brief)

This teardrop shaped plucked dulcimer was made by George Pickow in Viper, Kentucky in 1951. The body is made of walnut, poplar, and maple. The fingerboard is half-fretted and the top has two heart-shaped sound holes. The scroll is exceptionally hand-carved. Pickow made this dulcimer for Jean Ritchie as a wedding gift, and it was completed nine months after their marriage in September of 1950.

The custom-made dulcimer case is made of wood and covered with black leatherette. It has two brass latches, three brass hinges, and a plastic handle. The top of the lid has stitching around its front and sides. The interior is lined with purple plus and has a small compartment on the left side. The outside of the case is covered with stickers. This dulcimer and case were used by American folk music singer and songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player, Jean Ritchie (1922-2015).

Object Name
date made
Ritchie, Jean
Pickow, George
place made
United States: Kentucky, Viper
Physical Description
wood (dulcimer & case material)
metal (dulcimer & case material)
leatherette (case material)
fabric (case material)
overall (dulcimer): 34 1/2 in x 7 3/4 in x 2 1/2 in; 87.63 cm x 19.685 cm x 6.35 cm
overall (case): 13 in x 42 in x 4 in; 33.02 cm x 106.68 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Peter Pickow
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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