Kratz-zither found

08/22/18 09:32:26AM

Amongst the dross, I recently found a kratz-zither for sale on eBay. The former owner had this for about 40 years but knew practically nothing about it, though she thought it dated to 1840-1850 from stylistic details. Since these are so scarce, I thought I'd share this with the group. (It's black cherry construction, well made, with a black walnut peg head.) Five strings, parts of which are still attached at the bottom end around each screw (so we can figure out the original gauge and composition). Note the hand-slotted screws. The floor tiles this was photographed against are 12" x 12".

One curious thing to note: There no evidence that this ever had a fretboard! Bowed?

The next question is: What should I do with this? I expect it ought to go someplace where other interested parties can take a look at it.