Clapper Fiddle

Clapper Fiddle

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This fiddle was made in Middle Appalachia in the first half of the 20th century. This instrument is unique in its design and construction, incorporating a wooden clapper extending from beneath the end of
the fingerboard. The clapper is free to vibrate against the top of the fiddle, presumably created to add a buzzing or percussion effect to accompany the tune being played. The narrow body and design of
the tailpiece has no apparent accommodation for holding the fiddle between the performer's shoulder and chin.
The donor of the instrument, Mr. Wallace Kuralt, bought it at a flea market in North Carolina in the 1960s. He believes the proprietor bought the fiddle from another flea market source in or around the border between New Hope, Pennsylvania and Lambertville, New Jersey. The provenance of the instrument is most likely a rural community in the mid-Atlantic region of the east coast of the United States.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Place Made
United States
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 23 in x 3 1/2 in x 4 in; 58.42 cm x 8.89 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Wallace Kuralt
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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