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Zither with a Metal Frame

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:24 pm
by Dave
A few years ago I acquired an early American picture post card showing a man seated at a table with a zither. The table provides a playing surface for the musician, and also functions as holder for a cluster of objects, including a stereoscope. To place it, print on the back of the postcard reads, "Made at FRETER BROS., at Bridgeport, O., Bellaire, O., Martins Ferry, O. & Wheeling, West VA. On the zither, there appears to be a rag tucked above the sounding board between a bar mounted on the instrument.
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Just recently, not without surprise, I discovered a companion to the image shown above. In the following image, the musician is kindly holding the zither where it can be clearly viewed. It appears to be a zither with a metal frame, of the kind patented by Gebrüder Gunzelmann in Nürnberg in 1885.
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The original German patent explains that the metal frame prevents warpage of the soundboard and while providing a great, sonorous tone.
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Following is an advertisement for this maker that was included in the April, 1909, issue of “Centralblatt Deutscher Zither Verein,” published in Munich.
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Sometimes it takes years for these little pieces to fall into place, but it's quite nice when they do. :-)


Re: Zither with a Metal Frame

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:26 pm
by Rudy Mueller
Now I know where the cigar burns came from on the underside of my Dad's Förg.

The guy in the picture may have been using a wet rag to put out a cigar fire. The hat on the guy at the left looks like a genuine "Miesbacher".