A faithful reproduction of the old Cumberland dulcimers --
slender hourglass instruments made by James Edward Thomas (1850-1933) of Bath, Kentucky.
All-poplar (or all-walnut) construction with 3 hand-carved walnut tuning pegs. Staple-type wire frets go under melody string only. Walnut nut and bridge. The soundholes may be 4 round holes or 4 hearts (facing either up or down).
Flat black antiqued finish on poplar model, shellac finish on walnut model.
The fiddle-edges and the fretboard are decorated with incised grooves just as on the originals. Trenails, which are tiny wooden pins, help attach the face and back to the ends. Three wooden feet elevate the back off the playing surface.
*NOTE: Mechanical Perfection violin pegs (made by Knilling) may be substituted for hand-carved pegs for an additional $100. These modern pegs make retuning fast and easy. They look like ebony.
A matching possum board for the Thomas dulcimer is available for $50 plus shipping (no extra shipping charge if included with a Thomas dulcimer order).
Price is just $350 through December 2020.
Tennessee Music Box $310 standard*
An accurate historic reproduction of the heavy primitive box dulcimers made in the 1890s by the Goodman and Eckard families of mid-central Tennessee. These were sometimes called "harmonicas", and they're built for playing noter/drone style.
Screw eyes are used to tune the 4 strings stretched over the metal nut and bridge plates. The boxes are built solidly, of thick pieces glued and nailed together. Frets are metal fence staples, and extend only under the first string. They can be played with a pick, a turkey quill or a violin bow.
These old music boxes were traditionally built of tulip poplar. My reproductions are built of poplar* as well,
or they can be made of ash or cherry (when available).
The finish may be either clear shellac or stained to order.