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37.  Old German waldzither  (714)  @ 150 euros

Larger photos are available on request.

Old Un-named Domeback Waldzither

This is an old domeback Waldzither, made in Germany with normal tuners. There is no label, but this is common for instruments made in the old E. Germany during the communist era. It had serious damage and had been poorly repaired, but is now fine, hence the price.

The spruce top is sound with centre join repair and a few dinks. The domed back is now sound but with seam repairs, re-enforced inside. There has been substantial repair around the heel, which may not be pretty, but it is now solid! The tuners are originals, thought the buttons vary. Bridge and tail are new. The instrument has been refinished with shellac and Tru-oil. It has been strung as a traditional waldzither in open C, (CGCEG) and is now playing well with a lovely, full, ringing, sonorous sound and a light action.

Other than cleaning, I have carried out the following work on this instrument: 1) Rebuilt around the heel, where an old repair was badly made to a loose joint; 2) repaired several open seams in the dome back and re-enforced inside; 3) relined the inside; 4) repaired an open centre seam in the top; 5) reset the fingerboard; 6) refinished the neck and body with shellac and Tru-oil varnish; 7) made and fitted a new bridge in rosewood and bone; ) 8)fitted a new tailpiece; and 9) strung with phosphor bronze strings and set up.

I can add a strap button to the heel if required.

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’


Waldzither Specifications (In Millimetres)

Overall Length of waldzither


Width at widest point


Approx. Depth of waldzither

120mm at bridge.


Refinished throughout in shellac and Tru-oil.

Belly wood

Book-matched, spruce. Centre separation repaired. Some dinks still visible, and repair around the heel.

Sound hole

Round, approx. 60mm. diameter.


Fruitwood,? Floral inlay.


7-piece domed back in stained maple. Several seam repairs.

Neck and Head

Single-piece, stained, neck and head, probably maple. One or two capo marks.


Stained maple, good condition. Substantial repairs around the heel.


Relatively wide, original in rosewood. Reset on a shim after heel repair. Original nut and zero fret.

Machine heads

Original, steel and brass, all working. Assorted oval buttons, evidently not all original.


New, in steel with 8 string posts.


New rosewood and bone.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 470mm

Bottom string height at bridge


Top string height at bridge


12th fret to bottom string


12th fret to top string


Width of fretboard at nut


Width of fretboard at widest point




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