Identification dulcimer bought in Nebraska

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
one month ago
1,846 posts

I did see that photo of a Geoffrey Johnson at Hughes Dulcimer Co, circa 1974.  I'd need to do some more digging to see if it's the same person though.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
one month ago
1,472 posts

This image purports to show a Geoffrey Johnson of Hughes Dulcimer Company in 1974.  Not sure if it's the same Geoffrey Johnson.  I'm sure @ken-hulme can tell us about Hughes.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie

updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/24/21 08:58:38PM
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
one month ago
1,846 posts

Sorry -- never heard of Geoffrey R Johnson as a builder.  BUT.  I did some surfing... and it appears that Mr Johnson is (or was) from the Fort Worth, TX area.  There's a YouTube vid of him at a Fort Worth Main Street Arts Fair in 2009.   I also discovered several other of his dulcimers for sale...

Rob Williams
Rob Williams
@rob-williams
one month ago
3 posts

Okay team, I thank you for your quick responses and I have to apologize.  After I posted my query I decided to look over my mysterious dulcimer a lot more closely.  I got a flashlight and a mirror to see if and what kind of internal bracing was inside and low and behold, I find a stick (handwritten) that says Geoffrey R Johnson, March 1994.  I got on the internet and found some info on this guy and his dulcimers including one for sell somewhere that is almost exactly the same as the one my wife bought.  So is Geoffrey R Johnson gone underground?

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
one month ago
1,846 posts

Same here, John.  It looks like it can't decide whether it's an hourglass or  what.   I've seen a lot of those elements -- the extended tail block (although never one that extended) , same with the fretboard extending a little beyond the body and the through-body string holders. The tuners appear to be brass, and have come from some other instrument.

That's not a terribly long "overall" length, which is something we mostly don't worry about.  What is the VSL?  That's the important number.

I don't think those tuning shafts are extra long, but the sidewalls of the tuning head are very thick, and the slot between the sides seems very narrow -- so the ends of the shafts extend into the opposite side walls.  

Definitely not a kit, IMHO, this appears to be someone's personal interpretation of what a dulcimer should be.

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
one month ago
275 posts

Rob, I've seen lots of different kinds of dulcimers and dulcimores, but I've never seen one like yours!

Rob Williams
Rob Williams
@rob-williams
one month ago
3 posts

A couple of years ago my wife (who was working part-time at an antique store in Beatrice, Nebraska) found this dulcimer at the store and of course she had to buy it.  There are no manufacturer's marks so I'm guessing it's a home made/kit dulcimer.  It has no 6 1/2 fret and is really long 42 inches, tip to tip (it doesn't quit fit into a standard dulcimer bag.)  It's unusual at least to me in that it has such long extensions for the tuning machines and the string end has thru the body holes.

Anyone ever seen anything like this before?

Dulcimer 1.jpg
Dulcimer 1.jpg  •  226KB

Dulcimer 3.jpg
Dulcimer 3.jpg  •  362KB

Dulcimer 4.jpg
Dulcimer 4.jpg  •  318KB

Dulcimer 5.jpg
Dulcimer 5.jpg  •  243KB

Dulcimer 6.jpg
Dulcimer 6.jpg  •  157KB