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This zither was made by an unknown maker in the United States, undetermined date. It is a half-bout zither made of oak, with holes for 6 tuning pins for 6 strings (three melody and three drone), 3 extant tuning pins, currently 16 metal frets (fretted twice due to inaccurate fretting), 3 diamond-shaped sound holes and 1 apple-shaped sound hole, closed “D” shaped head.

While its origin is unknown, collector Anne Grimes acquired this instrument in Tennessee, near Knoxville.

Anne Grimes (1912-2004) was an American journalist, musician, and historian of American (particularly Midwestern) folklore. Grimes studied voice and piano at Ohio Wesleyan and initiated graduate studies at Ohio State University. Following her education, Grimes was a music teacher, music and dance critic, and radio host. After WWII, Grimes began collecting and documenting folk songs throughout Ohio, as well as collecting Appalachian dulcimers and zithers. She would continue this work, performing, recording, and lecturing on instruments from her collection throughout the rest of her career.

Currently not on view
Object Name
place made
United States
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 5 1/2 in x 10 3/4 in x 36 3/4 in; 13.97 cm x 27.305 cm x 93.345 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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