Clark Irish Harp
Clark Irish Harp: model "A" serial number 1529, made by Melville Clark (harp virtuoso and manufacturer, born in 1883) in Syracuse, NY in the period about 1915. This fully playable and beautifully kept, all original, "Clark Harp" is becoming a rarer and rarer instrument to have the good fortune of locating in this mint condition. Both the harp and the collapsible stand on which it is designed to be played are fully functional and in impeccable condition structurally, mechanically and cosmetically. Original gilt decorations in a shamrock pattern are found along the borders of the body, neck and the pillar. The natural wood finish of the soundboard bears a quaint art design of the 14th century. This decoration, which like the harp itself, is in green and gold, is comprised mainly of 2 medallions, one on each side, a little below the center of the soundboard, and in 2 wolf-dog interlaced designs at the base of the soundboard. There are no molded or metal ornaments to chip off or rattle.
The harp itself is 39 inches in height and 23 inches at its greatest width. The sides of the body or shell are made of rock maple, with outside layers of Birdseye and curly maple. This laminated shell gives great strength and lightness, and its perfect acoustic quality gives volume of tone entirely disproportionate to the size of the harp. The soundboard is made of spruce, reinforced along its entire length where the strings pass through, with 2 strips of red beach wood, one inside and the other outside. A narrow mahogany strip gives a finishing touch at the side.The harp has 31 strings. All but the lowest 8 are of gut. Each string has a brass tuning blade or lever, and each is clearly stamped with the letter of the string to which it corresponds.
The harp stands of its folding base, designed to harmonize with the lines of the harp. It is made of rock maple and is 13 inches high. Attachment is made so that, by touching a lever near the bottom of the harp, the instrument swings back, and rests lightly on the shoulder of the player. The 4 feet of the base remain squarely on the floor, and firmly maintain the stability of the harp. The harp weighs 12 pounds without the base, and together they weigh about 17 pounds.
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