The museum is open Fridays through Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free timed-entry passes are required. Review our latest visitor safety guidelines.

Plucked, Straight-Sided Dulcimer

Plucked, Straight-Sided Dulcimer

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description (Brief)

This plucked, straight-sided dulcimer has a heavy boxy shape with two of its four strings fretted. It is a crude instrument with one large soundhole roughly carved under the fretboard and the entire construction put together with nails. The maker and dates of origin are unknown, but its previous owner told collector Anne Grimes that it came from Corbin, Kentucky.

On a visit with Mrs. Grimes, members of the famous folk-singing Ritchie family, Jean and her sister Edna, suspected it may have been made by their friend Will Singleton, but scholars later said that it is doubtful that Singleton made this instrument, as “the joinery is poor, and there are no characteristics to link it with Singleton’s construction methods.” A friend and neighbor of the famous Richie family, William Singleton made literally hundreds, more than a thousand, of dulcimers in his lifetime.

Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
dulcimer
place made
United States
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 16 cm x 32 cm x 107 cm; 6 5/16 in x 12 5/8 in x 42 1/8 in
overall: 6 5/8 in x 42 1/2 in x 11 1/4 in; 16.8275 cm x 107.95 cm x 28.575 cm
ID Number
1996.0276.06
accession number
1996.0276
catalog number
1996.0276.06
collector/donor number
C10
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object