Historical Harp Society of Ireland

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side view of Patton Trinity harp
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Click here for a video clip of Davy Patton explaining the making of this harp (courtesy Oliver Leamy)

This decorated replica of the medieval harp in Trinity College, Dublin, was built by Davy Patton, of Roscommon, Ireland, in July and August 2007, making its display debut at Scoil na gCláirseach 2007.

Its soundbox is carved from a willow tree cut down only a few months ago in Sligo; its neck is also of willow. Its forepillar is made from white oak. The back of the soundbox is closed with a board of yew wood.

The soundbox and neck are decorated with burned lines and circles following the original medieval decorative scheme of the Trinity College harp, and omitting all later additions including the silver end cap and carvings on the neck.

The forepillar is carved all over with minute incised lines which are then highlighted with ink, and then the panels of decoration are filled in with a chequerboard of red and blue casein paint. The paint colours and the decorative scheme follow the medieval original (traces of red and blue paint are clearly visible beneath the modern varnish on the original harp). The decorative scheme has been simplified from the original due to the constraints of working in oak rather than the harder wood of the original.

This replica of the Trinity College harp uses new templates which correct an error in the drawings published by R.B. Armstrong, used by most modern harpmakers to construct replica Trinity harps. This restores, possibly for the first time, the original treble and mid-range string lengths giving a sweeter and better balanced sound and more even string spacing.

The harp is currently set up with 'student' strings (brass treble and sterling silver bass strings) but would benefit from restringing with 18 carat gold basses. The HHSI can advise and supply (and even install) these if required.

Price: €6500 plus shipping. Sold

Contact us for more information about ordering a harp from Davy Patton

For any enquiries to do with your order, please email shop@irishharp.org.

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