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13. Old Bohm waldzither (740) @ 250 euros

Old Edleton Waldzither – Preston tuners

This is an old Waldzither, made in Germany in the early 1900s, with Preston tuners. It has the name stamped on the table....


It has the original rosewood finger-board with 17 re-levelled German silver frets. The spruce top is sound with two fine split repairs. The flat back is now sound, but with some shrinkage repairs. I have also repaired famage to the head. The tuners and tail are originals, the bridge new. The instrument has been completely refinished with Tru-oil. It has been strung as an Irish bouzouki in GDAEB, and is now playing well with good volume and sustain, a ringing, sonorous sound and a light action.

The waldzither will be supplied with a tuning key. A string winder is available for creating replacement double loop-end strings if required… @12 euros

Other than cleaning, I have carried out the following work on this instrument: 1) repaired narrow shrinkage splits in the top and back; 2) repaired some small damage to the head; 3) refinished throughout with shellac and Tru-oil; 4) re-levelled and dressed the original frets; 5) re-sprayed the rusted tailpiece; 6) made and fitted a new rosewood and bone bridge; and 7) strung and set up.

NB. the instrument can be retuned in a variety of different ways.

In the German region of Thüringen, the cittern seems to have existed in a time warp throughout the 17th and 18th Century. While citterns elsewhere went through a number of changes, the Thüringer remained very much the same. There were a number of variants with more strings, but the basic nine-stringed early 19th Century Thüringer Zither was very similar to the "standard" renaissance cittern. During the 19th Century the instrument became known as the Thüringer Waldzither and eventually the reference to Thüringen faded out and the instrument became known simply as the Waldzither, literally ‘forest cittern’. Around 1900 Hamburg mandolin manufacturer C. H. Böhm picked up the Waldzither idea and started manufacturing it in large quantities. For more about Waldzithers, follow these links…



Waldzither Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of waldzither


Width at widest point


Approx. Depth of waldzither

approx 100mm at bridge.


Refinished throughout in Tru-oil.

Belly wood

Good quality, close-grained, book-matched, spruce. A couple of fine shrinkage repairs.

Sound hole

Round, approx. 70mm. diameter.




2-piece flat back in rosewood. No repairs.

Neck and Head

Single-piece, stained, neck and head, probably maple. Some repair to head damage.


Stained maple, perfect.


Original in rosewood. 17 re-levelled brass frets. MOP position markers 5, 7, and 12.

Machine heads

Original steel Preston tuners, all working well.


Original in steel with 9 string posts and a strap post. Was very tarnished, so resprayed.


New rosewood and bone compensated bridge.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 470mm

G string height at bridge


B string height at bridge


12th fret to bottom string (Action)


12th fret to top string (Action)


Width of fretboard at nut


Width of fretboard at widest point



Larger photos are available on request.