Harp, 1854, from Glynllifon

Pedal gothic concert maple and gilt harp, made by Sebastian and Pierre Erard in 1854 and purchased by Lord Newborough of Glynllifon in 1855.

Glynllifon estate was the home of the Glynne family who claimed descent from Cilmin Troed-ddu. In the 1700s, Sir Thomas Wynn of Boduan married Francis, daughter and sole-heiress of John Glynne of Glynllifon, thus uniting the Boduan and Glynllifon estates. Their son Sir John Wynn acquired the Melai and Maenan Abbey estates in Caernarfonshire and Denbighshire through his marriage to Jane Wynne. The combination of these three estates established Glynllifon as the foremost family in Caernarfonshire. Their son Sir Thomas John Wynn became 1st Lord Newborough in 1776.

Plas Glynllifon, a grand neo-classical mansion was built in the 1830/40s by Lord Newborough on the site of a series of earlier houses. In 1948 the estate was sold to a timber merchant and in 1954 the house and park were sold to Caernarfonshire County Council. Some buildings later transferred to Coleg Meirion Dwyfor with the mansion sold to private owners. Gwynedd Council own the park and this is open to members of the public.

The Erard firm specialised in making pianos and harps with branches at Paris and London. They enjoyed the patronage of both Napoleon and the Prince Regent. In 1833 Pierre started making harps in the Gothic style, which was fashionable at the time. Sebastian Erard was the harp maker who designed the double action system for the harp which is found with minor variations in all modern harps.

The harp, purchased by Spencer Buckley Wynn, 3rd Baron Newborough, son of Thomas Wynn and Maria Stella Petronilla Chiappini, was used at the Glynllifon mansion. In the 1930s the harp was sold in an auction at Glynllifon to the family of Ifanwy Williams of Porthmadog. The harp was left to Storiel as a bequest in 2020.

This item can be seen in the COLLECT AND KEEP exhibition at STORIEL until 31 December, 2021.