Re: Erard Harp with Original Wooden Shipping Case

Home Forums Harps and Accessories Erard Harp with Original Wooden Shipping Case Re: Erard Harp with Original Wooden Shipping Case

Bonnie Shaljean

Egan used them too. I played an Egan Grecian (made in 1837 at 30 Dawson Street, Dublin) which was beautifully restored, including the functioning swell doors (whose hinges were bits of – ?? – vellum, or some similar material). It was a lovely instrument with a particularly full resonant bass (for a Grecian) and excellently-behaved pedals.

Apart from the historical interest & fun in trying out this feature, I discovered that it didn’t add much in the way of tonal colour, and was fairly ineffective. It certainly didn’t “swell” in the sense that one understands the term, and I soon abandoned it altogether and just left them open. I had public performances to prepare on this instrument and the music was pretty pedally, and I found that the little eighth pedal, situated as it was in the middle, made it more diffiult to distinguish the other seven, which means increased risk of – everyone’s worst nightmare – pedalling boo-boos.

The man who restored it said the door feature was just one more thing that could potentially go wrong, rattle, get stuck etc, and he wasn’t surprised that it had become obsolete. File this one under one-of-those-great-ideas-that-doesn’t-quite-work.