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Dital harp

Body of pine, painted dark blue-black and decorated all over with gold paint. Edge of belly decorated with scrolling gold vine leaves, stylised floral spray and fake sound-hole and surround, with star-shaped rose. The pin-bridge, with ivory-inlaid edge, is positioned diagonally across the body. The neck, or 'harmonic curve', is supported by a carved, fluted column, decorated with gold paint. Nineteen gut strings (one missing), head at the back of the neck with steel wrestpins. Fourteen of the strings have 'ditals', flat-headed buttons, each with its note pained beside it in gold paint. The dital devices, when depressed by the thumb, grip the strings and raise their pitch by a semi-tone. Small fingerboard with 13 bone frets for the other five strings. Two oval-shaped sound-holes in the back. Oval-shaped base with moulded gilt composition border.

  • Date:
  • Maker:
    Light, Edward [Person]
  • Collection:
    National Museums Liverpool
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    London (Timezone: Europe/London)
  • Culture:
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  • Inscriptions:"Ed. Light, Gt. Marylebone Street, London, Patent Dital Harp, No. 39" in gold paint on flat top of body
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:National Museums Liverpool
  • Measurements:Height 887mm, width 365mm, string lengths 305mm–760mm