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22-string single-action harp by J & J Erat

Harpists and those interested in the instrument will know of the single- and double-action instruments of the nineteenth-century. Fewer will know that pedal harps were made in a number of sizes. The above harp, a small, 22-string single-action instrument (no.1913) by Jacob and James Erat, was made in around 1827. There's an interesting correspondence between this, one depicted in an 1827 book plate (above), and a ‘small size pedal harp by Erat and Sons, expressly made for Miss Fanny Woodham' (1817-1851), advertised in an 1829 furniture sale by Mr Crockford of 156 New Bond Street. Woodham (below) a celebrated vocalist, would have been ten or younger when the harp was made; the cranked, ivory capped pedals indicate that it was made for a small child. It is conceivable that the above harp was the one made for Woodham are one and the same.

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