Lyon and Healy Washburn Style G 800

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    I am acquiring a very old Lyon and Healy gold harp. I asked the current owner to look up the number for me. She told me it said in gothic style letters either washburn or mashburn stlye G and 800. Does that mean anything to anyone. It is a pedal harp and on the small size. I know at one point it was used for a gig harp. Does anyone have any idea? Could this be an 11 or 12 or 14? I emailed Lyon and Healy these same questions but I haven’t heard back from them yet. I’m a little impatient. Thanks


    Lyon and Healy is still very proud of their old instruments, so if they know anything about your harp they’ll probably tell you.

    The Washburn line was produced by L&H in the early 1900’s. You can find some info about them by googling. There is at least one thread by Sam Milligan here about them. There is also a book by Dr. Rosalind Rensch that may have some more info for you.

    I think they were built as a harp to be sold in large stores for students and hobbyists, and since learning the harp was considered a sign of polish and refinement at the time, they were probably solid student instruments.

    Hopefully you have a good harp repair person available to give it a good thorough going over for you. I hope you get lots of good playing out of it.


    There is a thread here someplace about the Washburn, but here’s the gist of it again. Lyon & Healy decided sometime back in the 1920’s or maybe even earlier to sell some of their harps to retail music stores. But they wanted to keep the Lyon & Healy name for themselves and for sales directly from the factory. So they came up with the name Washburn. I’m not sure how they chose that name. The action plate has the name Washburn etched into it, and the serial number is a separate list from the Lyon & Healy list. But the action plate also says in several places that this is a Lyon & Healy harp and that it is made by Lyon & Healy. All of the Washburn harps were smaller student models, usually style 15 or style 16 harps. They were the same models, with no changes, as the smaller straight soundboard models available at the time in the Lyon & Healy line. I’m guessing that production of the Washburn harp ended at WWII when the whole factory closed down for the duration of the war.


    Thank you Sherry for the information. I will look for it!


    Carl, that is really helpful historical information. Thank you!

    Peter Wiley

    George Washburn Lyon
    Supposedly he left L&H, went and formed:

    Peter Wiley

    L&H serial # 1005 was completed in Jan. 1911.


    Thank You, Peter! All information is helpful!


    I have a L&H Washburn J. I contacted L&H and was given info that the Washburn line was made for only a few years; from 1910-1914.

    Check out this link. It’s a trade paper from 1913. My 1912 instrument is not only beautiful with it’s bronze column, the tone is large and very warm. And… because of the lighter tension… it is nice to my arthritis. : ) I wonder if the example you refer to is a J… In that case it was probably built in 1911.


    Did you check out those prices?


    Thank You KelseyAnne!

    My harp is supposed to be delivered THIS weekend. I am anxiously awaiting a phone call to let me know when exactly that it will be here. When it does arrive, I will check the letters. The lady that is giving it to me couldn’t discern whether it said Washburn or Mashburn so the letter may in fact be a J. I’ll let you know.

    Yes, Kay, those prices are excellent!!!!!!


    I would love you hear about your experience and your impression of the harp. I really love mine. : ) Share pics, too!

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