322.12

Angular harp with twelve gut strings. The body is hollowed out of one piece of wood, possibly maple, and has a rounded back and straight ends. At one end of the body, the wood extends forward to form a thick bracket that carries the neck. The neck is flat in section and gently curved, it ends in a rounded, bifid finial. At its lower end, the neck is supported by an arched buttress which, standing on the end of the soundboard and spanning over the bracket, gives the whole instrument something of the appearance of an open safety-pin. The twelve gut strings are tuned by round-headed pegs that pass through the neck. The strings are secured by passing through holes in a spine that is attached to the soundboard, where they are pinned into place with small plugs of wood.

This instrument was purchased at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867. The original catalogue description notes that it had 'twelve strings of horse-hair, ten black, and the two longest white, each string consisting of from six to eight hairs' (Carl Engel 1874. 'A Descriptive Catalogue of the Musical Instruments in the South Kensington Museum'. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, pp 202-203).

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk