Information on Chas T. Laughton harp

  • Participant
    kdh33 on #235979

    Hello, I am new to the forum. An individual in a near town is selling a pedal harp she said is from the 30’s. It is labeled as “Santa Cecilia Special” Chas T. Laughton. From my research, I’m guessing this harp was made by Charles T. Laughton, father of Gail Laughton but I can’t find anything about the quality of the harp. Just curious if it is something to look more seriously at or if I should pass. Unfortunately I only have one poor photo, attached. I’m trying to get more information, pictures before I go visit. Thanks.

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    Participant
    catherine-rogers on #235983

    Regardless of the maker, it’s the condition that matters. Only way to determine that is personal inspection by you or a knowledgeable and experienced harpist or (best of all) a reputable harp tech. It may be worth the trip to see it just to satisfy your curiosity even if you don’t buy it. Also consider what it would cost to put it in playing condition if the strings are old, neck is warped, action frozen, etc. Caveat emptor.

    Participant
    kdh33 on #235996

    I appreciate the response and great guidance. I know that I will need to physically inspect any harp we may buy. I was just hoping to hear if anyone has any first-hand experience with Mr. Laughton’s harps. The harp is a little drive away and I was just curious of reputation/sound etc., before committing to the trip.
    Thanks again.

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #236003

    I would stay away from that instrument. I only saw one many years ago. But I remember it was a “primitive” mechanism, and very different from any other maker of harps, which means it would be difficult and expensive to have replacement parts made for it. If it was made in the 1930’s, then it is now about 80 years old and probably very decrepit. As a harp rebuilder, I would not agree to work on it. I don’t want to take on the responsibility of maintaining an instrument that would be very difficult and time consuming to work on, and which would very likely need constant fussing to make it playable at all.

    Participant
    paul-knoke on #236067

    I’d be very interested to see more pictures of the harp as a whole. In this picture, the string alignment between the bridge pins and the tuning pins really doesn’t look right. It’s irregular, and some strings don’t appear to have enough bearing on the bridge pins.

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