Single-Bouted Plucked Dulcimer

Single-Bouted Plucked Dulcimer

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Description (Brief)

This single-bouted, plucked dulcimer possibly originates from Virginia, although its maker and date are unknown. A single peg remains of the four original ones, with all its strings fretted on fifteen frets. The instrument’s back is inset into the ribs, and two round soundholes decorate its top with a smaller one located in the bottom. “Rattle” material was shaken out of the instrument by collector Anne Grimes, “possibly a wasp’s nest, dried clay, and a fragment of split bottom chair cane.” Scored carving like purfling decorates the edges of the soundboard, running halfway down the instrument and abruptly stopping.

There is an envelope with Anne Grimes's return address printed in the upper left corner taped to the back of the instrument. Handwritten on the envelope is, "D 28 p.59 [/] "rattle' material shaken [/] out of instrument- [/] possibly wasp-nest dried clay [/] & fragment of split bottom [/] chair cane."

Currently not on view
Object Name
place made
United States
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 11 cm x 15.5 cm x 83.5 cm; 4 5/16 in x 6 1/8 in x 32 7/8 in
overall: 4 1/2 in x 6 in x 33 1/16 in; 11.43 cm x 15.24 cm x 83.97875 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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