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2.74  1980 Green River – 4 String Teardrop – £230 + £15 shell case

#1550:  July 1980

The Green River Dulcimer company was founded by Bill Walker, who started making dulcimers – both mountain and hammered – in the early 70s in Elkhorn, Kentucky. He moved in about 1980 to Asheville, N Carolina where he also opened the Early Music Shop in Biltmore Village. Both types of dulcimers were also available in kit form. In 1992 at the age of 49, he was sadly killed in his house by an intruder and his children decided not to continue the business.

Small green semi-circular printed label with “Green River Dulcimers/ Elkhorn, KY./ No 1550 [handwritten] Date 7.80 [handwritten]/ William and Kathleen Walker”.  All walnut teardrop with bookmatched top and back, latter nicely figured.  F-holes.  Hollow fingerboard with original 6+ fret and MOP markers on 3rd, 7th and 12th frets.  Simple scroll on three-piece sandwich walnut pegbox – flat later style rather than incised as earlier.  Grover Sta-Tite tuners with black plastic buttons.  Originally set up for 4 equidistant strings, now converted to conventional 4 string (doubled melody), 3 course set up.  The back is relatively thin and unbraced, as all Green Rivers appear to be, which makes it lively but a little vulnerable – this is just a little uneven.  Evidence of a little separation near the tail, now fully stabilised.  Finish was also slightly uneven and has been carefully refurbished to a high gloss, even finish.  Small ding on far side top edge near strum hollow.

Overall length 37⅝”, upper bout n/a, lower bout 7½”, depth 2¼”, FBW 1½”, VSL 30″ (long scale), weight 2lb 8oz (1134g).  Original 6+ and 13+ frets.

Now in excellent shape, looking good and playing accurately, with some character.  Walnut construction makes it sweet, without stridency, and big body with long scale length gives power and balance. NB case is very sound but has damaged handle, so only £15.