Model Nr. 0

C. H. Boehm built a very simple Waldzither which never appeared in his catalogues (which will be called “Model Nr. 0” in order to distinguish it from Model Nr. 1/ Nr. 1A). As there are quite a few instruments of this type, it has to be supposed that they were also produced in series. Most of these instruments display the standard label from after 1925, but a few older instruments (with a slightly different design) are also documented. There are two possible explanations for these instruments (which of course don’t exclude one another):

a) Boehm writes in his 1912 catalogue that he built 250 school instruments in order to be used by customers who wanted to start with their Waldzither lessons before having saved enough money to buy their own Waldzither. It seems possible that some of these simple instruments (at least the early specimens) are such school Waldzithers which were never meant to be sold and therefore not included into the catalogue.

b) In a 1934 Price List, Boehm writes: “In order to meet the wishes of a great number of my revered customers and in reaction to the circumstances of the present time, I have decided to produce two particularly inexpensive instruments.” And he goes on to describe these instruments as a Boehm Waldzither Nr. 1 and a Walddoline with the following specifications: “Maple, varnished (not polished), splint inlay on the edge and around the sound hole. Walddoline with scratch plate.” These instruments were clearly an attempt to cope with consequences of the Great Depression of 1929 which must also have led to a drop of Boehm’s sales figures. The younger instances of this type of instrument perfectly match the description given here, and they are in fact varnished, but not polished. This suggests that the later Waldzithers Nr. 0 are actually these “particularly inexpensive” instruments.