The Lamont harp: History

This harp was formerly kept by the Robertson family at Lude, Perthshire, along with the Queen Mary harp. It was, according to family traditions published in the early 19th century by Gunn, brought to Lude from the West Highlands by "a lady of the family of Lamont" when she married a Robertson. The lady is usually identified as Lilias Lamont, and she married into the Lude household in 1460.

Lamont caseDisplay case made for the Lamont harp in 1904

From the Robertsons, the harp passed to the Stewarts of Dalguise, and in 1880 it was deposited by them on loan in the National Museum in Edinburgh. It was put up for sale at auction in 1904, and since the Museum had blown its budget securing the Queen Mary harp, the Lamont went for £750 to the 'patriotic Scottish antiquary', Mr. W. Moir Bryce. In that year, presumably ordered by the proud new owner, a lavishly carved oak display case was made to house the Lamont harp by the Edinburgh firm of Whytock and Reid. Presumably the circular carved base that the Lamont harp now rests on was also made at the same time.

W. Moir Bryce intimated in 1918 that the Lamont harp would be donated to the Museum, and so since 1919 it has been on permanent display there. The display case is also in the Museum, but it is now used to house the Queen Mary harp.


Simon Chadwick