A GEORGE IV GILTWOOD AND SATINBIRCH DOUBLE-ACTION PEDAL HARP BY SEBASTIAN ERARD, LONDON, NOVEMBER 1821
with brass plates engraved Sebastian Erard's Patent no. 3207, 18 Great Marlborough Street, LONDON, the opposing side engraved MAKER By Special Appointment to his Majesty and the ROYAL FAMILY the table with gold and ebonised line decoration, the eight pedals including louvre pedal, together with a red embossed leather cover
170.5cm. high; 5ft 7¼in.
A superb example but in need of conservation. This harp has been in store for some time and it shows. With evidence of this in the form of old worm damage and ingrained dirt. It lacks strings. There are old marks, chips and scratches. There are minor losses and much dirt to the gilt-gesso. The metal pedals are tarnished. The leather cover distressed. It is very atmospheric however and a worthwhile restoration project.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
The Erard daybook entry for the offered lot, harp No. 3207 shows that it was completed on the 24th November 1821 and sold on the 19th December to Mrs. Mary Frances Benfield (1771-1828) of 18, Portman Street, Portman Square, London. Her daughter, Henrietta (d.1857) married Robert Berkeley (1794-1874) on the 24th January 1822, it is possible the offered lot was a wedding gift.