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Antique Cimbalom... Please help!


Good Afternoon everyone,

My name is Jay from Ontario, Canada. I was doing some research online about cimbaloms because I just acquired my first one and stumbled upon your site. I am still learning about them and saw that you make hammered dulcimers (this is what got me so interested in these types of instruments). For the last 12 years I have been playing guitar, but I also play several other instruments. Your instruments look incredible.

Long story short, two days ago I was given a cimbalom that I know nothing about (and neither did the person who gave it to me… at the time I thought it was a concert-sized hammered dulcimer) – I have only found one online that looked identical to mine. After contacting a few people I discovered that it was a cimbalom and that they are considered hard to come by where I live, and even harder to find those who play them. I would like to attach pictures to show everyone but because I am a new member I can only add one.

You will see that mine does not have dampers, there are roughly 131 strings, it has wooden screw pegged legs, the hardware and the framework look handmade/carved. I do not know if this is original but in some pictures you can see a cast-iron/steel bar that has note indicators on it. It inserts into a part of the frame and can slide across maybe 50% of the face of the resonation box portion.

I am writing to you to understand a little bit more about this because you are one of the few groups I have found that has such a similar instrument to the one that I have. I have also contacted a forum called Everythingdulcimer.com and had some assistance from their members. I know that ones without dampers are typically 1874 or older due to that was the year they were created, but that was just something I read. Would anyone on here please be able to give me some information on my instrument such as its age, maker, and/or value? I haven’t received any information yet about what they could truly be worth (I would like to know out of curiosity, but I love this piece for the musical history behind it nonetheless). Mine has no stamping, labelling, insignias or markings to indicate who made it, probably because they have worn off already. I have been told that mine resembles an old Schunda cimbalom, but today I am going to spend some more time cleaning it and inspecting it.

I would be grateful for any information and hope to hear from you. This is not a sale post I am just happy to own this piece and would like to know as much about it as I can!

Thank you for your time,



Hello Jay,

You might investigate the Cimbalom World Association to see if there’s any helpful info there.

Best of luck!