The Hollybrook harp

Hollybrook harp

Usualy dated to the 18th Century

Owned by the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, in storage (not on display).

"High Headed" design;
38 strings, longest 94cm

This harp has a pieced soundbox rather than the usual one-piece carved construction. It is decorated with Chinese-style painted scenes. It has two sockets on the base for screw-in feet. The neck-pillar joint has an unusual hollow shape.

The Hollybrook harp is supposed to have been owned and played in the early 18th century by Robert Adair, of Hollybrook, Co. Wicklow. It remained in the family at Hollybrook until the early 20th century. At some point it was removed to England; the Museum acquired it at auction at Sotheby's in London in 1986, paying £3200 for it.


Simon Chadwick