Springers Museum:

The  Romantic period  collection of guitar and harp hybrids

Page under construction

This page is part of a collection of instruments for reference and interest.  For items to purchase see the links at the bottom of the page. Thank you

On-line museum. Other collections. Click on link to view

Unusual Violins violin 2, cello. Cittern, hurdy-gurdy
Guitars banjos Tunbridgeware
Mandolin Zither, harp Ukulele




About the last quarter of the 18th century saw a change in fashion of not only costume, architecture but also of musical instruments. To enhance the withdrawing room came instruments to compliment  the decor. In addition the Gothic style harps and pianoforte came an introduction of various hybrid guitars and harps, made to play but also be decorative. Making of this style of instrument mostly disappeared by the 1830s as fashions changed. Just a few example illustrated here.



 Perhaps one of the most popular was the "Greek" style lyre guitar. Most with standard 6 strings. Made with flat end to stand on display. The extended body "arms" for effect rather than function. Popular in France ( to the left) from the late 18th century. An English    example labelled Broderick and Wilkinson, Haymarket. London (Circa 1815). ( to the right). The most prolific maker being Edward Light


A development of the lyre guitar theme was the Harp lyre guitar. This example by Edward Light ,similar to the guitar above but with 5 open harp strings to the left of the fingerboard. circa 1820. Harp guitars of course continued in various counties especially Germany well into the 20th century.



Dital Harp

An Edward Light dital Harp circa 1820 and another. Inscribed Light. Foley Place London. Patent Dital Harp. No 10.  Nineteen strings. The ditals being button to depress at the top rear to obtain half notes. (See lower right pictures). A form of lap harp.  Strangely the harp is strung the opposite of a harp with the high strings furthest away (I suppose unless you are left handed) Certainly an instrument form posing in front of guests. Overall length 83cm. The example to the left has a base fitted for free standing



A French guitar of about 1830 possibly by Germain. Paris. With ivory or bone frets, ebony veneered neck, steel clock key tuners and twin banded sound holes.


A typical harp guitar circa 1815 possibly by Levien. With 6 fretted strings and 6 harp strings, three with semi tone levers.




An eight string harp guitar by Levien, Paris (left)


A six string bell shaped guitar by Barry. London. reminiscent to bell shaped citterns / English guitars




A bell shaped 6 string lute guitar by H.Barry circa 1800

A theorbo type harp guitar by Barry early 19th century

Soon to come a page about other harp guitars and theorbo lute guitars


More info on Harp-lutes  


Greg Miners harp guitar  pages.                                         


copyright  pamelawilson 2004.   All rights reserved. No colour photograph may be copied or reproduced without permission.