This is an Érard "Gothic" model, patented double-action, pedal harp, which was probably made by Pierre Erard (1794-1855) who ran the London firm since 1814. Pierre introduced this model of harps in 1833, where the column was decorated in "Gothic" style, hence the name. Technically the instrument beared the patented double-action, with "fourchettes" (i.e. small brass discs fitted with a pair of prongs or forks) and pedals that could be set in two positions to change the string pitch by a semi- or a whole-tone. This particular example has accommodation for 47 strings, now missing, and eight brass pedals (three missing). The soundboard is made of spruce and the body has birdseye maple veneer. The nameplate on the neck is brass and the wrest pins are of iron-alloy. There are still three ebony bridge pins present, and the pin holes have a bone/ivory inlay/saddle.
- Specific materials/techniques:
- Decorative elements:Gilt decoration throughout. The column is extensively decorated with gilt gesso in characteristical Gothic style, with panels of angels playing musical instruments under a canopy at the top.
- Inscriptions:Engraved on neck plate: Sebastian and Pierre Erard's (cursive) Patent no. 5910 (gothic script) / 18, Great Marlborough Street, LONDON.|Stamped on plate inside neck mechanism: 5910|Embossed gilt gesso scrolls on angel's panels: Pierre Erard. / Published Dec 19 1833
- Hornbostel-Sachs category:322.222 Frame harps with pedal action
- Repository:Museum of Army Music
- Measurements:Height: 1775mm; Depth: 935mm; Width: 470mm