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A revival of an instrument that had died out in the 19th century, this crwth was probably based by Arnold Dolmetsch on an example from Voela in north Wales in the Welsh Folk Museum, Cardiff. At the 1934 Haslemere Festival, one concert included pieces for Celtic harp, played by Mabel Dolmetsch, and crwth played by Arnold Dolmetsch himself. These pieces were based on Dolmetsch's own deciphering of the 'Bardic Penllyn manuscript', now better known as the Robert ap Huw manuscript (B. M. Addl. MS 14905).

See full details Description

Crwth (bowed lyre), with a square sound box, and maple back with two round sound holes on the belly either side of the bridge. The left leg of the bridge extends to the back of the sound box through the left sound hole. There is a maple tailpiece with an ivory endpin at the base of the sound box, and a yoke of maple above the sound box with a central fingerboard also of maple. There is an ivory nut at top of fingerboard, gut frets, and wrest pins at the top of crossbar. The instrument has four fingered strings made of gut and two drones or bourdons made of metal, probably plucked with the thumb. There is simple black purfling around the belly, tailpiece, fingerboard and yoke.

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Musical Instruments

1 item (description level: whole)

Broad category
Musical Instruments, Chordophone
Additional names, titles, or classifications
catalogue name:  crwth
object name (Horniman Ethno.):  crwth
catalogue title:  321.322-71
classified as:  321.322-71

Haslemere, England, UK, Western Europe; Europe
Additional place information
made:  Haslemere 
Date made
Additional date information
date made:  1934 

Materials & techniques
wood; iron; steel; ivory; metal thread; flint; gut
Additional material & technique information
material: flint (overall)
material: gut (overall)
material: ivory (overall)
material: metal thread (overall)
material: iron (overall)
material: steel (overall)
material: wood (overall)
overall: 605 x 240 x 95 mm
Additional measurement information
overall: 605 x 240 x 95 mm

Acquired with assistance from the National Art Collections Fund
Dolmetsch Collection

Further reading
Horniman Museum and Palmer, Frances, 1981. The Dolmetsch collection of musical instruments. London: Horniman Museum & Gardens, 16 (catalogues)

Related people
Dolmetsch, (Eugène) Arnold
Related subjects
association: Greater London
related subject: Folk Music
association: Work
related subject: Musical Instrument Making
object name: crwths
material: metal thread
material: flint
material: iron
material: wood
material: steel
material: ivory
material: gut
classified as: 321.322-71 Necked box lutes or necked guitars sounded by bowing with a bow

Record created 1999-12-26 by FPALMER
Record last updated 2017-10-23 by XGVIEWS