Six string instrument mystery

During a recent foray into clearing out my mother-in-law’s house, I was poking around inside a closet and found a false panel loosely placed against a wall.  After removing it, I discovered a six string instrument in a shape and configuration like I’ve never seen before.

I knew that my father-in-law played around with a few guitars.  After he passed away, my children got his vintage Gretsch electric guitar and old Harmony dreadnought style guitar, in addition to a few harmonicas.  He also played around with dobros.

The style of this mystery six stringer is hard to describe.  The height of the strings above the fingerboard at the top nut is very tall, making it impractical to depress the strings at the first fret.  There are also dials on either side of the bridge but the instrument is not electric nor set up for electrical output.  And the body shape is very unique.

The brand name is Kay, and indeed Kay made string instruments a long time ago.  So far, I’ve been unable to find one like this in my research.