Wow, Randal, you have a beautiful dulcimer and a bargain at that. I wish you well as you learn more and learn how to enjoy your special find.
Help with ID of recent thrift shop purchase
Gentlemen, I am most appreciative for the courteous and informative responses from your collective of esteemed luthiers. As of early morning this very day, I had never seen the word "luthier."
And I did peer through the sound holes I was able to see the following: Made by C. Earl Templin, Calera Alabama. How fascinating.
Apparently Mr. Templin passed away in 2008 and lived less than an hour from where I presently reside. His wife, Linda, passed away in 2021 and apparently was fond of playing the dulcimer herself, as well as the harp.
That’s all I’ve been able to gather so far on the history but I’ll keep researching and also see if I can locate a luthier in my area who can help with fashioning a bridge for it. Thanks so much for your help and Mr. Hulme, I’ll definitely take a look at your article.
My esteemed colleagues John and Ken have helped you as well as I could have. I agree with John that the bridge/saddle is missing. It may have been made of bone if that is what the nut is made from. In order to make it playable you will need a new bridge. I also agree with Ken that the dulcimer is all walnut. And you really did find a great bargain on that instrument. Enjoy. Oh, and maybe someone on FOTMD from Alabama will recognize it.
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
What a beauty! I'd say that top and fretboard are walnut, as are the walnut shell sound hole covers. That ET/TE brand is certainly distinctive but I don't know who it is. Is there no label to be seen inside the sound hole(s)?
FYI the instrument has a true Diatonic fretboard layout -- with no 6+ or 13+ frets. Appropriate tunings would be (bass to melody) DAA or CGG. both are 1-5-5 tunings and use the same tablature.
Here's a link to a booklet I wrote several years back called I Just Got A Dulcimer, Now What? which is an illustrated glossary (so we all speak the same jargon) plus answers to many beginner questions about the tuning, playing, care and feeding of your acquisition... The link to the article is at the bottom of this discussion:
Ken Hulme's "I Just Got A Dulcimer, Now What?" Article - Strumelia | fotmd.
You're welcome to red, print and distribute it as you see fit.
updated by @ken-hulme: 05/02/23 07:16:59AM
Randal, that's an eye-popping dulcimer you bought! Such beautiful wood, graceful lines, and walnut shell soundholes, to boot. If it sounds half as good as it looks, your $3.99 was WELL invested! Works out to about a 99% discount, or so! I don't recognize the design or the builder, but obviously he or she has a lot of talent. Good for you! PS: Look for labels inside the soundholes if you can.
Hi I’m new here having never owned a dulcimer … that is until now. I live in NE Alabama and a couple weeks ago I was out shopping at a local thrift store when I ran across the one I’ve included in this post. It was on a top shelf out of sight and I didn’t notice it but the lady with me did and said hey what’s that. Being lanky I reached up, pulled it down and it was very dusty, probably sitting atop that shelf for a long time. Having played some guitar when I was younger I knew what a dulcimer was, however; I’d never held one in my hands and know little to nothing about them.
I thought it was a beautiful instrument and that it would clean up nicely. And at a price of $3.99 I didn’t think I could go wrong even if I wound up just displaying it. Anyway I got home, blew the dust off of it, wiped it down and said Wow this is really nice, it just needs restringing. Now whether this is really a nice example I can’t say .. so that’s why I’m posting. I was hoping the collective here could provide some insight into its style, origin, maker, age, wood type, value etc. for me so I’d know what I had. And if I paid too much lol.
There’s a makers mark on the upper neck under the tuners that appears to read 186 and below that either TE or ET, as the letters are written together as one. Any insight into this dulcimer would be greatly appreciated. And thank you for allowing me to post.
Thanks in advance,