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2.55 – 2013 – June Apple “Poplar Hill” Hourglass – 4 String   £Sold

On LB struts, handwritten:  “#4298  Carl Gotzmer” and “June Apple/ Dulcimers/ Nov 11, 2013”.  This Poplar Hill is June Apple’s top of the line concert or “artist” model and this particular custom-made instrument was created by Carl Gotzmer, owner and chief craftsman of the firm.  The Poplar Hill is larger than other June Apple dulcimers with a wider and deeper body, producing according to the website “a deep rich tone and greater volume”.

Extras on this instrument include: scroll headstock, gold Grover banjo tuners, abalone dot inlays, custom hand carved F holes, purfling, wenge fretboard overlay, zebra wood back and sides and red cedar top.  Comes with custom case, feather picks, noter and an extra set of strings.  Cost $700 new in late 2013 (c £650-£700 imported).

This is a big-bodied instrument with striking zebra wood sides and bookmatched back, the latter with a chequer patterned purpleheart purfling strip up the middle.  Zebra wood scroll headstock and tail, former with wenge (or ebony?) sandwich, gold Grover geared banjo tuners.  Thick wenge (or ebony?) fingerboard overlay on arched maple fretboard, short strum hole, no soundholes under fretboard.  Abalone dot inlays at frets 3, 5 and 7.  Wooden bridge and “nut” with zero fret.  Western red cedar top – with matching stripes! – and a routed line round edge as decoration, round holes (UB) and f-holes (LB) as soundholes.  Brass, headed pins as string anchors with felt sound deadening on pins and tailpiece.  One strap button on tail.

Overall length 36¾”, upper bout 6¼”, lower bout 8″, depth 2⅛”, FBW 1¾”, VSL 28″ (medium/long scale), weight 2lb 13oz (1268g).  Original string size 0.012/0.012, 0.014, 0.024w.  Has 6½ fret.

This is a dulcimer with significant presence, both in terms of sound and looks.  It is loud but not brash, with a more percussive sound than many dulcimers – a shortish decay after each note has been struck.  This makes it particularly suitable for pick driven chord/melody playing.  It is well constructed from top quality materials and certainly looks the part – a future classic!

Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge each photo:


  • June Apple PH 19
  • June Apple PH 17
  • June Apple PH 14
  • June Apple PH 18