This zither is likely a model called "Kunkel's American Cithern" as issued to Charles Kunkel on Dec 2, 1879. It is a very early zither patent, so is quite rare. There were many zither patents issued between 1878-1880, with many inventors located in St Louis, Mo.
Kunkel was also issued another patent on the same day (Dec. 2, 1879) for an alternate design (#222,138) which he called "Kunkel's American Lyre." Charles and his brother Jacob operated a successful retail enterprise in St Louise for a number of years selling sheet music, instruments, and publishing a monthly periodical highlighting the St Louis music trade, called "Kunkel's Music Review."
Current Location Status:
Gift Of Anderson, Mr. And Mrs. Melvin D.
Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin D.