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Really Small Lyon & Healy and Other Really Small Pedal Harps

  • Jessica
    Jessica Wolff

    Recently had a chance to see a Lyon & Healy style 12 and a style 14 in the flesh, so to speak, and was charmed by both of them. It reawakened distant dreams of playing a pedal harp one day. Unfortunately, I've been out of work for a good long time, so I guess it'll remain a dream.


    The style 12 is a fraction over 62" high and weighs only 45 lbs. That is just slightly shorter than my Troubadour I and 5 lbs less (but 3" taller) than a Pilgrim Progress pedal harp. No, it is not available. It was recently donated to the local harp museum here. (I may get a chance to play it down the road, though.) It is gilded and has 41 strings. The style 14, somewhat larger and heavier, has 43 strings. It is also gilded, and the carving is very unusual--very restrained, in a way that makes it stand out. It is privately owned and recently acquired by its proud owner.


    Other really small pedal harps I've seen: the Progress, of course. A very small double-action Erard in the Musical Instrument Museum in Vienna. A small Tyrolean single-action, unfortunately with only five pedals. I got to play the PP & the Tyrolean and liked both of them.


    I'm smitten with these small harps. (I also like small cars and small horses.) Some of them are fairly old and have a lighter tension than today's harps. They seem to be just the right size; I would find the later Troubadours, which are 3" taller than mine, less comfortable to deal with. OTOH I finally got to try a Merlin and found it disconcertingly short, though I could still play it from a regular chair. (Yes, all that you folks have been saying about the wonderful bass is true; and I like Camac levers a lot better than Loveland; and the fluorocarbon strings feel weird, at least at first.)


    I'd love to hear from people who have unusually small pedal harps. How and why you acquired them, how old they are and what you think of them. It is not all that easy to find information about these models on the web.

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    replies to "Really Small Lyon & Healy and Other Really Small Pedal Harps"
    • Patricia
      Patricia Jaeger

      Jessica, I take my Lyon and Healy gold style 14, 56 pounds and 43 strings, to play any engagement where I need a harp. In the past year,  there was one for sale on this site, in the classified section. I acquired mine nearby privately about 25 years ago and it serves me very well, though made in 1939. In the past I had both a style 12 (there is one for sale right now in the Classified section here!) and also a Pilgrim Progress. They were both fine but limited in range, at 41 strings. I am 5' 9 1/2" tall but I managed. Of these 3 models only the Pilgrim is still made today, and made very well, with newer materials to be lighter and have innovative action for the pedals.  Sort out what amount you could spend and do a diligent search if you know you'd be comfortable with a small size harp. When you find a used one and it is not nearby, it is worth it to pay a qualified harp player to check it out for you. Then act quickly if it gets a good report. They sell quickly.

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    • Sid
      Sid Humphreys

      There is a Salvi Angelica 40 string (as well as semi grand in the same model for sale in the Dallas area... David Williams Harp Gallery.

      Here's the link if anyone wants to see them http://williamsharpgallery.com/usedharps.html

       

       

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    • Jessica
      Jessica Wolff

      Thanks to everybody for your replies. Patricia, I'm just under 5' 0", so I would feel very comfortable with a smaller harp. Sid, I never heard of that model or the Williams Gallery either. Good to know. I seem to be finding out what's out there in the way of harps that are no longer made purely by accident. And at this time I cannot afford any pedal harp. (But at least I just had my Troubadour I regulated, cleaned and restrung, and that has certainly brightened my unviverse!)

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    • Jessica
      Jessica Wolff

      Make that "universe."

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