1.39 Early 1980s Anonymous French 4 String 3 Course £Sold
I know very little about this dulcimer. From the dimensions and the original standard wooden violin tuners, looks to be late 70s or early 80s. Unusually, sides are made from some sort of quite striking exotic wood, possibly bocote or zebrano, as is the single-piece fingerboard and elegant, low cut pegbox/scroll sandwich (of which the inner core appears to be softwood). The back, equally unusually, is made from a single piece of figured ash. Hand cut, slightly uneven f-holes, bigger in the LB; rosewood nut and pinned bridge; oddly, no strum hollow, just a chamfered fingerboard (a la early Glenn), but with an original 6+ fret. Small mushroom-headed string anchors have been vulnerable to damage and one has been replaced leaving the original in situ.
Overall length 33⅞”, upper bout 5”, lower bout 7”, depth 1⅞”, FBW 1¼”, VSL 26″ (short/medium scale), weight 1lb 9oz (695g). 6+ fret. Current strings 0.011, 0.014, 0.023w.
Clearly not a kit, the design is good, the materials carefully chosen and the general build quality sound. However, various elements suggest an amateur luthier, including the fact that the back on the far side tail end does not end quite flush and the finish is not up to professional standards. However, it sounds pretty good – bright, clear and with accurate intonation after a little work on the bridge. I have changed the original friction violin pegs for open geared guitar-type tuners with ivory-coloured plastic buttons.