I'm proud to present CigarBoxGuitars.com's first instrument research article based on our instruments-on-loan program. Your donations, along with purchases through GuitarRags.com and StubbySlide.com have enabled me to send some of the oldest pieces in the Cigar Box Guitar Museum to music experts to shed new light on these fascinating instruments.
I recently sent the historic "Old Peach" cigar box violin to musician/builder/historian, Jim Morris of West Virginia. (This is the 100 year old cigar box fiddle that was discovered in Toledo, Ohio and showcased in this article.)
Morris' first task was to get the original violin playable again by replacing the tailpiece and setting it up with a new set of strings. He uploaded a video of the original antique cigar box fiddle being played for the first time in many many years. The tune is "Old Horse and Buggy"
Inspired by the instrument's design, Morris sought to create his own version, complete with the same chin rest and top body circle. "It's not exact, but it was as close as I could get," he said.
His fiddle has a slightly larger cigar box for the body, as seen in the picture above. Here is his demo video. He is playing the tune, "Puncheon Floor."
Puncheon Floor (or Puncheon on the Floor) comes from the fiddling of Esker Hutchins of North Carolina. A puncheon floor was made from split logs finished on one side.
I hope to have an interview with Morris on his thoughts about the building process and theories to the original instrument's design.