Clarsach, known as Lamont Harp

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Postcard of Clarsach, known as Lamont Harp.
© National Museums Scotland

Clarsach, known as Lamont Harp

This is one of the two oldest surviving clarsachs from Scotland. It dates from around 1500 and is known as the 'Lamont Harp' after the family who owned it in the early 16th century. It was carved from the wood of a hornbeam tree.

The clarsach is made up of three parts: the soundbox, the forepillar, and the harmonic curve. These three elements have been mortised together, the joints settling and distorting under the tension of the strings.

In the early 16th century, the clarsach passed as a marriage dowry from the Lamont family to the Robertsons of Lude in Perthshire. It was preserved by this family for several generations before passing to John Stewart of Dalguise.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-134-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.LT 2
Date: Around 1500
c. 1500
Material: Brass
Dimensions: 952 mm x 469 mm
What: Harp
Subject: Musical instruments (NMAS Classification)
Who: Lamont
Where: Scotland
Description: Harp with ornamental mountings of brass, called the 'Lamont Harp', Scotland, c. 1500
  • Caldwell, D.H. (ed). Angels Nobles and Unicorns: Art and Patronage in Medieval Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1982 
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