I have a Clark Harp

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    Polly Parker

    I just read a



    I have a question about the history of CLARK harps.

    As far I remember, the Clark harp manufacture was etablished around 1900 as an independent Brand. Later in 1915 there was Lyon & Healy producing a Irish harp called Clark harp.

    Can some one provide me with some information about this and verify the dates ?

    Thank you


    Evening Polly,

    Since you own a Clark, you should definitely get a copy of Linda’s book. It has a lot of good information about your harp in it. Regarding what your harp is worth, it could be anywhere from $500 to $3000.00, in my opinion, depending on the condition. Since your harp was given to you in 1956, it was probably strung originally with nylon strings, in which case you might try the strings that Markwood Strings have for Clarks. ( I have not tried them myself, but know a couple of people who have and they have liked them.

    Good luck!



    Evening, Bernhard,

    As with Polly, I highly recommend Linda Kaiser’s book “Pulling Strings” since she has a lot of information about the Clark Harp Mfg. company, the harps themselves and Melville Clark.

    Linda writes that The Clark Music Company began manufacturing the Clark Irish Harp in 1908 and selling it in 1909. The Clark Harp Manufacturing Company was established in 1912. In 1912, however, the company could not keep up with orders, and negotiated with Lyon and Healy to make 250 Clark harps, paying royalties to the company. L & H continued to make Clark harps until 1935. As such, Clark harps were being made in Syracuse by the Clark Harp Manufacturing Company and in Chicago by L & H simultaneously for a period of time.




    To answer your question about the Clark Irish harp – the Clark Harp Manufacturing Co, was established in 1911. Production actually began in 1908 and a new company was formed to take care of the growing sales of the new harp.

    This information can be found in chapter 2 of “Pulling Strings”. There are lots of interesting photos in the book that have never published before. and some incredible stories of Melvile A. Clark, harp designer.

    Linda Pembroke Kaiser, Author

    Linda Kaiser


    Thanks for the nice comments on the recent FINGER LAKES article and for citing your Clark Irish Harp (CIH) serial number. I am listing all serial numbers that come across my desk. Yours is very close to mine, 2667. “Pulling Strings” has a complete chapter on the CIH. with photos of an earlier design and true stories related to the unusual travels of the little harps.

    Melville A. Clark had many accomplishments in his lifetime. His legacy is rich, enough to fill an entire book.

    Linda Pembroke Kaiser, author of “Pulling Strings”


    I wanted to chime in that my family also has a Model A Clark harp (1914).


    I have a Clark Harp that was given to me by my teacher. It was badly damaged at some point with a completely broken column. It has the # 1003 and was made in Syracuse, NY. I received it from my teacher because she knows I am a woodworker and thought I might be able to resurrect it. Well, it is quite a challenge. I have taken it entirely apart so I can construct a new column and replace the soundboard.
    The question I have is about the finish. The stool which came with it and is intact is green. However the harp itself appears more brown. I am wondering if anyone has some good pictures of the green Clark harps that will show exactly where they were green and what parts had a brown stain on them. Thanks for any information.


    There was one on eBay last month. I saved a photo or two! (Click on photo to enlarge it.)


    another… I saved the photos because it seems to be about the same age and of similar design to my 30 string Morley. Both have blades. Like your Clark, my Morley is currently in pieces on my work bench!


    And one more! They were asking $4,000 for it. Said it had been recently restored. Stand included.


    Hi Fred,
    Yup. Thanks. I had already seen these pix and have them copied and downloaded onto my computer for reference.
    It is comforting to hear that another soul has a completely disassembled harp on the bench. Perhaps we can share the journey.
    All I know now is that I will be calling this a reconstruction and not necessarily a restoration as I do not have a good enough idea of what it should be. I really just want to be able to play it, not sell it for big bucks. In that regard I have purchased aircraft birch plywood from Musicmakers to replace the soundboard. The original was spruce of course but I don’t have the proper tools (or probably skill) to replicate that sort of construction. I am using Kaiser’s book as reference as well as a set of scale plans I purchased. Unfortunately, the ‘to scale’ on the plans do not actually match my particular harp so I will be drawing the template for the new column myself.
    I know nothing about the Morley harp. I am wondering if it has blades as well. Some of the blades that I have removed are bent and I am wondering if you know of a source to replace these.
    Be well and have a fun harping journey.


    Mine does have blades and we’re in the same boat without a blade to paddle it! In other words, I’m trying to source blades too. I’ve attached a photo of my “hardware” including the blades. I’m missing one or two of each!

    Maybe I’ll paint mine green?


    Ian Firth’s blades appear to have been made by brazing together a piece of rounded brass strip and a piece of threaded brass rod which seems easier than casting them entire.

    Tuning pins and bridge pins are readily buyable from harp makers.


    I was thinking a threaded brass bridge pin and some brass strips could be a place to start… one would wrap the strip around the pin, solder and then file to the right shape.

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