The "Fischer's Fidola Mandolinette Zither" from the early 1900's is an interesting combination of individual strings available to be bowed or plucked that are also set up with push button springy hammers plus another set of strings arranged in chords to be strummed! One of these has recently shown up on E Bay with excellent close up pictures currently viewable on Google Images.The photos show "D.R.W.No.246857 D.R.Patent a.". Check it out on AntiquityMusic .com. "Zither Girl" has a  video on You Tube titled "Zither Adventure Tour-Olde Zithers.4v" showing a Violin-Zither, a Fischer Fidola Mandolinette Zither and other Fretless Zithers being demonstrated by Lorenz Muhlemann...

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Comment by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on August 27, 2015 at 11:34pm

 Yet another manufacturer of Violin-Zithers has shown up: "Valsonora" of Munich made many different models of fretless zithers including a very nice looking professional quality Violin-Zither. 

Comment by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on June 16, 2015 at 7:07pm   Antiquity Music has found another Fischer Fidola Mandolinette Violin-Zither and has put up superior photos with close ups and different angles. Some show how the double bow able melody strings work with two notches on the top of one pin. The Fischer company made these in Germany starting before !900 and through the 1930's. This one has been nicely cleaned up and restrung with its original decals in good condition.

Comment by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on July 5, 2014 at 12:14am

 Another Violin-Zither showed up lately, the floral decal says "Valencia"and "Ges. Gesch." The sound hole label says "Salon-Harfe", "Qualitats-Fabrikat", "Made in Saxony". Very nicely built, that the label says "Made in Saxony" in English might mean it was made for export. Any information about this company and other Violin-Zither builders would be appreciated.

Comment by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on February 2, 2014 at 12:08pm

  In 1894 the earliest known patent of any kind on a box-harp fretless zither Fred Menzenhauer, sometimes partner of Oscar Schmidt only claims to "have invented certain improvements" to what he calls a "Guitar-Zither",but not to have invented the four chords and melody scale string arraignment of strings typical of this design, that included a wire music stand and one string you were to tune first and then tune too. Since plucked psalteries of many kinds have been played in Europe and around the world it would be a stretch to assert that patents can be used to out right claim that no one ever bowed one before the known Ukelin patents from the 1920's and 30's. The Patent dates, if any, and country of origin (Swiss? U.S.A.?)on the Fisher Fidola Mandolinette Zither have yet to show up.

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Members who build bowed psalteries for sale

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Lessons at Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
Phone: 773.728.6000
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Tish Westman - West Virginia
Lessons at Tamarack, Beckley, WV. Wednesday workshops also available for individual classes and to teach at festivals.
Sunday "Jam" 3:30 to 6:00. All instruments welcome, play mostly Old Time, Celtic & Gospel Music, not opposed to trying any tune called, once did a rap on Bowed Psalteries.

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(865) 660-4026

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Karla plays a variety of instruments and does workshops as well. Please visit her web site for additional information or contact her via the web site or the information below.
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