Antique Musical Instruments/marimbula


DJ GIBS wrote at 2010-03-26 18:50:17
In Jamaica they were called a "Rhumba Box" and were used mostly in the 30s - 60s by Mento bands. Mento was a form of Jamaican folk music usually accompanied by a banjo and other accoustic instruments. Famous bands include Hubert Porter and His Jamaican Calypsonians, Harold Richardson & The Ticklers, Lord Fly, Lord Flea, Chin's Calypso Sextet...

I saw a very similar one reccently on eBay for $50. Ther owner said they brought it back from Jamaica in the '70s and I'm sure was purchased as a tourist item not an authentic musical instrument... although many of the "real" ones were hand made out of whatever materials were lying around that suited the job.  

Marge wrote at 2013-08-08 22:04:59
Is actually a Marimbula or Rhumba box use in the Caribbean, south America, originated in Cuba and Jamaica, is old but easy to make, is the kind of instrument that they used to use for Reggae originally, I got one for $125.00 most anyone will pay for, u got kind of lucky ( I was looking for one for a looong time


Antique Musical Instruments

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Jim Garber


PLEASE NOTE: I will not be able to answer any questions about antique keyboards, accordions, concertinas, woodwinds, brass and percussion.

I can answer most questions on fretted instruments, my main area of expertise is in vintage mandolins, guitars and ukuleles. I also know some things about old banjos as well.

I have decided to no longer evaluate instruments -- it is very difficult without the instrument in hand. For guitars and some other American fretted instruments, I recommend the Vintage Guitar Price guide. Also, be aware that most insurance companies want written appraisals so my valuation would not work anyway.

ALSO PLEASE NOTE: it is near-impossible to accurately appraise a violin or bow remotely. If you truly want to find out what you have, you will likely need to take it to a reputable local dealer. Many of these folks will at least give you a verbal assessment of what you have after an inspection in hand and, if it is indeed worth something, can write you up a formal appraisal, usually for a fee.

If you have any questions about zithers please check the following sites: or
Between the two of them, they have it all covered for any zither-like instrument.


I have been buying, selling, collecting and playing old and antique instruments for over 30 years. My recent specialty has been in European mandolins and classical and Italian mandolin music.

Classical Mandolin Society of America, active participant on the Mandolin Cafe

Guild of American Luthiers, Sing Out Magazine,

BA, Brandeis University

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