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Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:17 pm
by kenbloom
Hi Quince,

It looks perfect! I have heard nothing but great things about Wunshe and thre few of his instruments I've played were wonderful, every bit as good as my Meinel Jr. I'm sure you will enjy your Perfekta as much as I like mine and having those contras handy is realy wonderful.

Ken Bloom

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:23 pm
by quincemothman
Hi Evelyn, I tried to reply before now but there was a glich in the system so I couldn't send it. Thank you so much for the links they are very interesting. I wonder if there are any zither players in the UK. I've been playing for about 2 years and have learned pieces from YouTube and some music books but my playing is still not very good. Being self taught I have probably picked up some bad habits. Regards, Quince.

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:54 pm
by quincemothman
Hi Ken, sorry for the delay I couldn't send a reply strait away because of a computer glich. I'm starting to think that this Perfekta zither may be a bit special as there are not too many around and not all in great condition it seems. This one was perfectly strait with no warping or cracks. I wonder at what point Anton Brauer changed the label to a simpler one, ( the one in mine I think must be the older style and more ornate ) it could give a indication of the zither's age, I'm thinking around the early twenties? How it ended up in a house clearance company in the UK I don't know. All I do know is that I'm glad that I rescued this lovely instrument. Cheers, Quince.

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:38 am
by Evelyn
Hi Quince

My pleasure! Glad to know that you found the information useful.

I don't think that your question as to how your zither ended up with a house clearance company in the UK can ever be answered. As you will know, zithers are however occasionally being offered for sale in the UK, so there must be at least some in the country. For some time during the mid to late 1800s, the zither-playing Duke Maximilian of Bavaria and his teacher Johann Petzmayer travelled extensively and introduced the zither to the wider world. Maximilian's daughter Sisi, who became Empress Elisabeth of Austria, like all her siblings also played the zither, and the instrument became fashionable and was also played by members of the nobility in other countries such as, in the UK, by Princess Alexandra, and Princess Beatrice of Wales (source: Josef Brandlmeier, Handbuch der Zither (I), 1963). These zithers, however, differed considerably from modern zithers.

The next wave of zithering in the UK presumably commenced following the release in 1948 of Carol Reed's film 'The Third Man', featuring Anton Karas's zither music. There were several UK distributors of zithers (working for German zither makers) and they stamped the manufacturers' labels with their details. The 1950s are not all that long distant, and it is plausible that some of these zithers have survived in attics etc until now. Immigrants may also have brought their zither with them when they settled in the UK. For instance, I found my smallest and oldest zither in Caithness, the very north of Scotland, where it had been stored for decades under a bed without the owner, then an elderly gentleman, actually knowing what it was - a friend of his late wife had brought it with her a long time ago, and because he used to play in a ceilidh band (accordeon) he had kept it out of interest.

I am sure that there are other zither players in the country. I know of one who at the time (a long time ago) I was in contact with him worked for Radio Scotland and lived either in Glasgow or in Edinburgh. One of the instruments in the collection of a couple in the village where I live - they have collected (and try to play) a great number of unusual instruments - is a zither, now sadly stored in the attic (they never managed to play it). I have as yet to see this zither.

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:38 am
by quincemothman
Hi Evelyn, thank you very much for the info. Funny enough I also play in a ceilidh band playing backup guitar. My other instruments are Harp guitar, electric chord zither and tenor banjo. I also sing. The chord zither is quite old, around 1910 which I had repaired years ago and then fitted four pickups under the strings, the sound will give you goose bumps. You didn't mention where you are based. I live in Newport, South Wales UK. I have some videos on YouTube if you are interested. Type in quincemothman. Cheers, Quince.