Foreign harps

The Nuremberg harp


Also known as the Nürnberg harp.

Dated to the 16th century (or possibly to the 19th century)

Kept at the Germanischen Nationalmuseum in Nürnberg.

"Gothic" design;
26 strings, 102cm high

This instrument is of typical "gothic harp" form. Its strings would be of gut, and it is fitted with buzzing bray pins on all strings.

This instrument is nominally dated to the 16th century. However it is considered by many to be a fake. It has been suggested that the roughly made poplar soundbox may be a 19th century addition to a genuine 16th century frame.
Detailed plans and drawings have been published by the GNM. The plans suggest the timber used is maple throughout.

Simon Chadwick