Pedal harp

about 1830
Ignace Pleyel & Cie (French, born in 1807)

Object Place: Paris, France


Height 168 cm, width 88.8 cm, depth 46.7 cm (Height 66 1/8 in., width 34 15/16 in., depth 18 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, spruce

Not On View


Europe, Musical Instruments



Semi-cylindrical soundbox of hardwood veneered with maple. Soundboard composed of two laminations with grain of outer surface (figured hardwood) oriented vertically and grain of inner surface (spruce) oriented horizontally. Soundboard curves onto top of pedalbox. Pedalbox of gilded hardwood with acanthus leaves and scallop shell. Four feet, front two in form of lions’ paws. Pillar of maple with stopped fluting and gilded palm fronds at base, surmounted by round gilded capital with classical figures holding palm fronds, alternating with acanthus leaves, and other stylized foliate designs. Neck of maple with water-leaf molding along top of action plates. Soundbox, pillar, and neck outlined with gold stripes. Seven pedals of brass operating double-action fourchette mechanism; eighth pedal operates five swell panels on soundbox. String pegs of ebony with mother-of-pearl dots. Tuning pins of iron. Compass of EE to f3 (forty-four strings).


Engraved on action plate: HARPES A DOUBLE MOUVEMENT PAR BREVET D'INVENTION / DE F. DIZI / Clle Pleyel & Cie / Facteurs du Roi / Rue Cadet No. 9 / à Paris; stamped inside access hatch and behind action: 97


Before 1928, apparently owned by Annie Bigelow Lyons. By 1928, by descent to Mrs. Horatio Appleton Lamb (b. 1857), Boston; by 1952, by descent to her daughters, Miss Aimée (1893-1989) and Miss Rosamond (1898-1989) Lamb, Boston; 1952, gift of the Lamb sisters to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1952)

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Aimée and Miss Rosamond Lamb