Burge Searing Dulcimer?

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Burge Searing Dulcimer?

Postby Posgroup » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:02 pm

Hi -

I just bid on and won and Ebay auction for a nice looking instrument made by Burge Searing. The first time it was listed, there were no bidders and the price was $99. It was relisted and I bought it for $112.50.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0325126582

Does anyone know anything about this maker and/or his instruments?

Kindest regards,
Jerry
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Postby pristine2 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:34 pm

I was very tempted by that listing, but I could not get the seller to reply to my queries so I let it pass.

Searing's internet footprint is positive. He was apparently very well respected as a woodworker. Whether those talents extended to lutherie I don't know, but from a collector's standpoint, $112.50 certainly seems like a reasonable gamble.

From the listing photos I wasn't entirely sure that there wasn't some plywood in the construction. Once you receive it, photos and a detailed description of the sound & construction would be very welcome.

Best,
Richard
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Postby Posgroup » Fri May 01, 2009 9:36 pm

I did a search on ED and found out that he passed away last year.
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Postby TERIW » Fri May 01, 2009 11:09 pm

I googled the luthier and found some info at:
http://www.betsillworkshop.com/instruments.htm
Scroll down. The info is about 3/4 of the way down the page and it is a long page! Teri
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Postby parsonpaul » Sat May 02, 2009 8:32 am

Wow,
After reading his bio and the description of some of the other instruments that he made I would say that you made an incredible purchase. I would love to hear its voice. If you are interested in collecting I would say you ought to print out his blog pages to keep with the instrument...
I think you made a steal.
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Postby Posgroup » Wed May 06, 2009 12:40 pm

Dear Catremote,

Thank you so very much for your message. I greatly appreciate the time you took to write. I was somewhat surprised that there was not more bidding on this instrument, which appeared to me, even with the limited photos, to be special in some way.

I will post my impressions when I receive it, which should be very soon.

Kindest regards,
Jerry

catremote wrote:Mr Posner is one lucky man, and, indeed, he got a great deal. This item was relisted by the seller at the request of another Searing relative. It was to be a gift to me, yet another Searing relative, and unofficial keeper of the widely extended family genealogy. Mr Posner was the wiser buyer and alas, my heart is broken,,,,,,,just kidding ;)

I'd also be interested in his impression of the manufacture and sound of this dulcimer. Burge Searing (Earl Burge Searing Jr.) was a true artisan, widely musically accomplished from all accounts and I'd be beyond surprised to find that any of his instruments contained plywood.

Although I never met Burge in person, and actually only learned of him in the process of my genealogical research of the Searing family, I share his interest in the old music, its history, old world to new, and its preservation. These are far from arcane passions, since I have found this forum, but to know that I shared them with a relative I did not
know in life is very moving.

Burge Searing's great grandparents were my great great grandparents; he passed away May 2008 after an accomplished life including training as a classical pianist, with degrees from Florida State University, Stetson University, and University of Florida. He taught music theory and piano at Jacksonville University (1970-1981). His creative endeavors include Painting, Drawing, and various musical instruments (Piano, Guitar, Clarinet, bagpipes, mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, and Celtic harp).

During the mid 1980’s and 90’s Burge manufactured and sold Mountain Dulcimers, Hammered Dulcimers, Celtic Harps, Psaltry (an ancestor of the dulcimer) and other unusual wooden instruments in Stone Mountain, GA.

Enjoy your dulcimer, Mr. Posner, care for it well and treasure it for me and for all the Searings, far and wide.
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Postby TERIW » Wed May 06, 2009 2:03 pm

Catremote: Would you consider building a website in honor of Burg Searing? That would give the rest of the world a source of knowledge that might build on the value of his instruments, which it sounds like they deserve. I sell handmade items on ebay frequently and I know how disappointing it is to sell something that is good quality far below the actual value of my investment of design and creation time. Just a thot, TeriW
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Postby Posgroup » Fri May 15, 2009 2:14 pm

I received the dulcimer today.

It needed a good cleaning, and new strings, which I installed.

The label reads: Ser #0487-74.
So, I'm guessing that it dates from either 1987 or 1974.

It seems that one tuner was replaced. And, I'm not an expert, but I do think that there are laminates here. My wife knows more about wood than I do, and when she gets home, I'll see what she thinks.

However, the sound is lovely and the intonation is quite good.
I think it is a very attractive instrument.
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Postby Posgroup » Fri May 15, 2009 4:44 pm

catremote wrote:Well, laminiates aside, it seems you got quite a deal.

I'm in contact with Burge's son. If you want me to I can probably find out what the serial number means. My guess is that it was made in 1974.


Yes, that would be great.
By the way, the more I play it the more I like it.
The sound and intonation are really fine.
It looks like it has a solid top, and laminate back and sides.
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Postby pristine2 » Sat May 16, 2009 7:32 am

Thanks for the report!

Sounds like you got a once-in-a-blue-moon kind of deal.

Richard
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Re: Burge Searing Dulcimer?

Postby Posgroup » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:03 pm

So more than seven years ago, I acquired Burge Searing Dulcimer 048774.

According to Burge Searing’s son, posting on esearing.com: “You can get the age of the instrument from the serial number on the card. The first 4 digits are the month and year. The next few digits generally indicate the #of instruments he had made up until that point.”

I sold that dulcimer to a grateful member of the Searing family.

I came across another Burge Searing Dulcimer recently, and bought it. The number is: 058776 - made just one month after the first one in 1987. It’s another nice one! I love it when things like that happen!
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Re: Burge Searing Dulcimer?

Postby KenH » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:36 pm

What goes around, comes around. This one you can keep!
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