Pedal harp (Gothic model)

Erard and Co. (English, active 1792–1930s)

Object Place: London, England


Height 179.2 cm, width 96.6 cm, depth 46.7 cm (Height 70 9/16 in., width 38 1/16 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 bird’s-eye maple; five elongated oval soundholes. Soundboard (replaced?) composed of two laminations with grain of outer surface (figured hardwood) oriented vertically and grain of inner surface (spruce) oriented horizontally. Soundboard edged with rosewood and decorated with gold stripes. Circular eyelets of ivory at string holes. Pedalbox of maple, gilded on front half. Four feet, front two in form of winged grotesques of gilded metal. Pillar of maple with gilded wood moldings and gilded bronze roundels and rosettes at lower end. Pillar surmounted by gilded hexagonal capitol with angel musicians and crowned figure holding banner (Virgin Mary?) set in ogival arches, gothic tracery, and acanthus leaves. Baldachin of gilded metal screwed to underside of capitol. Neck of maple with gilded molded edges and incised laurel sprays on back and sides of knee block. Pillar and neck outlined with incised gold stripes. Seven pedals of brass operating double-action fourchette mechanism. String pegs of ebony. Tuning pins of iron. Compass of CC to f3 (forty-six strings).


Engraved on action plate: Sebastian and Pierre Erard's Patent No. 6625 / 18 Great Marlborough Street LONDON.; stamped on pedalbox; 6625


1890s, sold by the maker to the parents of Raymah Dowse Gifford (1876-1971), 340 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts; after 1971, by inheritance to her sister, Rosamond Gifford (1910-1997); 2003, gift of the estate of Miss Rosamond Gifford to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 17, 2003)

Credit Line

Gift of the Estate of Miss Rosamond Gifford