Harp Erard, France 1911


The maple case features an engraved thread; the front part, always in the same essence, has the shape of a column with a slender shaft and decorated in the lower part by rose windows, surmounted by geometric and phytomorphic friezes, while in the upper part it presents a tabernacle with musician angels and female figures holding scrolls, in neo-Gothic style. The shaped base is adorned at the ends with figures of carved dogs.

On the brass band of the case there is the signature of the manufacturer Erard 13. Rue du Mail PARIS, serial number 3672.

Dimensions: cm 180x100x55


Historical-stylistic analysis:

The Gothic harp, the model to which our example belongs, was patented by Pierre Erard in 1836, nephew and son of Sebastian and Jean-Baptiste Erard respectively, considered among the most important harp makers of the 19th century. In particular, Sebastian was credited with passing this instrument from simple movement to double movement.

The Gothic harp like ours owes its name to the style that characterizes the decorative part, with motifs that recall those of medieval statuary and architecture. Following the success of this model, the Maison Erard also designed and marketed other models, such as the Empire, Ram’s Head and Louis XVI, which differed exclusively in the decorative style, while the proportions and typology of the instrument remained unchanged. Several specimens are kept in some of the most prestigious international museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

The analysis of the manufacturing records of the Maison Erard allows, thanks to the serial number, to go back to the precise year of construction (1911) and to the buyer, Monsieur Tornacuori (?) Of Rome.

Antiques, Art and Design

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