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Kearney's Harp - Number one
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William Kearney’s Harps

Kearney Harp Number One
Feature Detail
Date Probably 18th century
String Count 36
Height 145 cm (57 inches)
Soundbox Made–up box from several pieces of wood (possibly pine), maximum width 37 cm (14½ inches)
Current Location not known
Kearney's Harp - Number two
Kearney Harp Number Two
Feature Detail
Date Probably 18th century
String Count 36
Height 140 cm (55 inches)
Soundbox Made-up box from several pieces of wood (possibly sycamore), maximum width 29 cm (11½ inches)
Current Location not known

These two harps were formerly in the possession of the late Mr William Kearney a collector and dealer of antiques. Following his death they, along with other items from his collection were sold by Adams, the auctioneers at two sales held in late 1999 and early 2000. They were described respectively as ‘An 18th Century Irish Harp, the case decorated with scrolls, having a large open sound box, 55 inches high’, (Harp number 1 here on this page);[1] A 19th Century Irish Harp, the stained wood case decorated with painted shamrocks, 50 inches high. The purchasers retained anonymity and the current location(s) are unknown.

While the harps were still in Mr Kearney’s possession they were loaned for an exhibition held at Malahide Castle, Dublin. While there they were examined by Nicholas Carolan whose report appeared as ‘Two Irish Harps in Co. Dublin’, published in Ceol; A Journal of Irish Music, volume VII, Numbers 1 & 2, (December 1984). Since this is the only information on these two harps to have been published, with the author’s kind permission the article has been re–printed here under the original title Two Irish Harps in Co. Dublin.

[1] The first sale was reported in The Irish Times on Saturday 27 November 1999 and noted that the harp sold for £4000.