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2.118 – Arthur Robb 2015 4 String Hourglass – £Sold inc. soft case

Arthur Robb is a luthier from Malmesbury in Wiltshire who came across from his native New York state 30 years ago.  He makes fine lutes and is an expert restorer of valuable and unusual instruments.  In the past he has made a number of unfussy, high quality dulcimers for top UK players.

#1250  2015  Printed label:  “Arthur Robb/Malmesbury/ 1250 – 2015 [h/w]”.  The body shape is similar to other dulcimers of his I’ve seen, being wide and relatively shallow. Back and sides are highly-figured, bookmatched English walnut with a nice spruce top (some bearclaw marking on the far side).  Large heart soundholes, pointing to the tail.  The top and back extend over the sides in a so-called fiddle edge.  Lightly-strutted back and top, with internal lining throughout.  Ebony fretboard overlay on hollow walnut fingerboard.  6+ and 13+ frets with pearl markers on frets 3, 7 and 10.  Simple but elegant scroll and pegbox, built up from three walnut blocks; gold banjo tuners with white pearl buttons, mounted on internal wooden washers.  Bone nut and compensated bone bridge, with brass mushroom-headed pins as string anchors and a bone strainer strip on the top of the walnut.  An internal pickup (twin K & K piezo mounted under the top) is fitted and has a jack output from the tail.  Natural finish.

Overall length 34″, upper bout 6½”, lower bout 8”, depth 1¾”, FBW 1½”, VSL 27⅛” (medium), weight 2lb 2oz (970g).  6+ and 13+ frets.  Original strings 10/10, 14, 22w nickel.

Arthur has taken this back to re-set the string distances and provide a new bone nut and bridge.  It now has a sweet tone, with some volume.  A very classy – and very English, despite Arthur’s NY state background – dulcimer.

Click on thumbnails below to enlarge