Pedal harp

about 1785
Godefroi Holtzman (French, active 1780–1794)

Object Place: Paris, France


Height 156.8 cm, width 75.4 cm, depth 39.3 cm (Height 61 3/4 in., width 29 11/16 in., depth 15 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, spruce

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)


Europe, Musical Instruments



Semi-cylindrical soundbox composed of seven ribs of maple. Soundboard of spruce (Picea) composed of two laminations with grain of outer surface oriented horizontally and grain of inner surface oriented vertically. Three pairs of soundholes in soundboard, each composed of circular pattern of six smaller holes. Soundboard painted with polychrome flowers, foliage, trophies with musical instruments, and bucolic scene. Pedalbox of maple carved with series of palm leaves. Four feet of iron. Carved pillar of maple with acanthus leaves at base, surmounted by large carved scroll, bouquet with ribbons, and acanthus leaves. Neck of maple decorated on both sides with Chinoiserie. All surfaces except soundboard ebonized with gilded highlights. Seven pedals of iron operating crochet mechanism; does not activate highest two strings. String pegs of ebony with dots of ivory. Tuning pins of iron. Compass of GG to b3 (thirty-eight strings).


Printed label on inside of action cover and outside of pedalbox: HOLTZMAN, / Maître Luthier / Facteur de Harpes, / demeure dans la grand rue du Fauxbourg / Saint Antoine, chez un Marchand de Vin, / au Roi de Siam, près celle de Saint / Nicolas, au second; il vend & fournit / des Cordes de Naples & autres. / A PARIS.; in ink on soundboard: HOLZMAN A PARIS; in ink on inside of action cover and pedalbox: No. 5; stamped on action plate and trapwork: I S


1918, gift of William Lindsey, Boston, Massachusetts, to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 21, 1918)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection