Staff Pick Video: Harp Lute

Watch Weekend Receptionist, Mary Jane, as she describes her artifact pick: a mid-19th century harp lute from the Couldery collection.

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This artifact is an ebonized harp-lute with gilt tracery in a floral decoration with 14 strings.

A mid-19th century harp lute. Black with golden floral design, 14 strings resting next to sheet music.

The harp-lute is also called the dital harp. An invention of Edward Light of London in the late 18th century, the harp-lute was designed in an attempt to revive the popularity of the guitar.

Music for the harp lute, published by the Wheatstone Company

The music, which is on display with the harp-lute in the drawing room, was published by the Wheatstone Company of London, England.

A close-up look the strings on the harp-lute

This harp-lute has 14 strings. When the key is worked by the thumb, the strings are shortened, giving a different tone.