Drawing by Robert Bruce Armstrong,
from The Irish and Highland Harps
|String Count||36 (though possibly up to 37 at one time)|
|Height||137 cm (54 inches)|
|Soundbox||Hollowed out from a single block (sycamore), maximum width is 33 cm (13 inches)|
|Current Location||The National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin|
Follow this link for a detailed examination of the provenance of his harp.
The Royal Irish Academys No. 2 harp is listed as such in William Wildes A Descriptive Catalogue of the Antiquities in the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy, 1857, and is so named because it was the second harp that the Academy acquired. They purchased it for six pounds from a Mr. P. Carlton* who claimed to be a descendant of Turlough OCarolan and that the instrument had belonged to the famous harper. For this reason the harp is sometimes called the Carolan harp. However, this supposed provenance was not given much credence and never promoted by the Academy and was actively scorned and derided by George Petrie who considered Carlton to be a wretched imposter.
It has also been suggested that this harp had belonged to Rose Mooney but this too is unlikely. For more information on Mooneys actual harp and an explanation as to why it is not this instrument see Rose Mooney's Harp.
This harp was formally in the collection of the Royal Irish Academy. Note that the harp has suffered much damage and repair. It is likely that the original string lengths were longer.
For Robert Bruce Armstrongs account of this harp, see The Irish and Highland Harps pages 83 and 84. This passage includes the drawing reproduced above and some brief description and measurements of the harp.
*(see the accounts for the period April 1847 – March 1848 published in the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. 4 (1850), p. xvi.)