Brought to you by the Exile Bibliophile


An historical enquiry respecting the performance on the harp in the Highlands of Scotland : from the earliest times until it was discontinued about the year of 1734, to which is prefixed an account of a very ancient Caledonian harp and of the harp of Queen Mary … / drawn up by desire of the Highland Society of Scotland, and published under its patronage, by John Gunn.

After the discovery of “two old harps in the house of Lude, in the Highlands of Perthshire”, the Highland Society of Scotland arranged for both harps to be brought to Edinburgh to be sketched and examined.

The older harp is the Caledonian Harp and came to the family in 1460 (see the pencil correction in the text and the tag affixed to the last page of the book’s postscript noting the erroneous inversion of the 6 and 4 in the printed text).

The second harp, or Queen Mary’s harp, was a present by the Queen to Miss Beatrix Gardyn while on a hunting trip in Perthshire. This harp is described as having, “in front of the upper arm, the queen’s portrait, and the arms of Scotland, both in gold.”

While the plates featuring the harps are lovely and the text contains such gems as information on how the harps were strung and played and a lengthy description of the Queen’s hunting trip, it must be confessed that this book caught my eye because of the unfortunate arrangement of the author’s name above the title on the spine.

Gunn on the Harp, indeed.

(via uispeccoll)