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Pluckthun waldzither/cittern (577)  @ 200 euros  new

Old German Waldzither-Cittern with Preston tuners

This is an old domeback Waldzither, made in Germany, probably early to mid 20th century with Preston tuners, by

Pluckthorn & Co.

Doleck Mohnesee


It has the original rosewood finger-board and brass frets. The spruce top is in good condition, with NO repairs. The 7-piece domed back has several small repairs. The neck and head are new, replacing a disintegrated original. The tuners, bridge and tailpiece are original, and in good condition. The instrument has been refinished with shellac and Tru-oil varnish. It has been strung as a 9 string cittern, GDAEB with phosphor bronze strings, and is now playing well with a full, ringing, sonorous sound and an easy action.

Other than cleaning, I have carried out the following work on this instrument: 1) repaired and open seam, and several smalldamaged areas in the back; 2) replaced the heavily damaged neck and head; 3) refitted and levelled the original f/b and frets; 4) refinished throughout with shellac and tru-oil varnish; 5) fitted new strap buttons; and 6) strung and set up.

It will come with a tuning key. A string winder can also be purchased if required (10 euros)

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

130mm at bridge.


Refinished throughout with shellac and Tru-oil.

Belly wood

Fair quality, book-matched spruce, with purfling and edging all in good condition.

Sound hole

Round, approx. 75mm. diameter.




7 piece dome back in stained maple. Several repairs.

Neck and Head

New, stained, neck and head, in maple. New strap post on the heel.


Stained maple, in good condition.


Original in rosewood. 18 original brass frets, newly levelled. MOP position markers at frets 5, 9 and 12. Original rosewood nut.

Machine heads

Original steel Preston tuners, all working well.


Original in steel with 9 string posts, slightly tarnished, and I have also fitted a strap post.


Original glass bridge.

Scale Length Bridge to nut

Scale of 500mm

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


Tuning Key

A new tuning key will be included.

Larger photos are available on request.