Deaccessioned April 25, 2013

Pedal harp

Erard freres (French, active about 1780–1831 (?))

Object Place: Paris, France


Height 165.4 cm, width 84.3 cm, depth 43 cm (Height 65 1/8 in., width 33 3/16 in., depth 16 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, spruce


Europe, Musical Instruments



Semi-cylindrical soundbox of hardwood. Soundboard of spruce with grain oriented horizontally and later white paint. Circular eyelets of ivory at string holes. Pedalbox of gilded walnut (?) with two griffins and anthemia fronds. Four reeded feet. Fluted pillar with gilded anthemia fronds at base, surmounted by round capital with gilded rams’ heads, swags, griffins, lyres, trophies, palm fronds, and other stylized foliate designs. Neck of hardwood. Soundbox and neck finished with fake rosewood graining, outlined with gold stripes. Seven pedals of brass operating single-action fourchette mechanism; eighth pedal operates four swell panels on soundbox. String pegs of ebony. Tuning pins of iron. Compass of EE to d4 (forty-one strings).


Engraved on action plate: PAR BREVET D'INVENTION / ERARD FRERES / Facteurs de Forté Piano & de harpes du Roi / de Ses Menus Plaisirs & de la Cour Imperiale de Russie / Rue du Mail, No 13, & 21, à Paris; stamped on action plate: No 584; incised on inside of access hatch: IIII


1932, gift of Charles Hitchcock Tyler, Boston, Massachusetts, to the MFA (Accession Date: September 1, 1932); April 24, 2013 deaccessioned by the MFA for sale through Skinner Auctions, Boston.

Credit Line

Bequest of Charles Hitchcock Tyler