Height: 35 5/16 in. (89.7 cm)
Width: 34 1/4 in. (87 cm)
Depth: 8 1/16 in. (20.5 cm)
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
89.4.1465 a, b
Not on view
This richly decorated arched harp has 13 twisted silk strings of varying diameter. Each string connects to a gold-painted stringholder which runs the length of the gold-lacquered deerskin belly. The strings are secured to the neck with red-twisted cotton cords (tuning rings), which end with a gold colored metallic tassel. The sides of the instrument depict scenes from the Ramayana in gold against a black field. Often used to accompany songs, instruments like this one had their orgins in ancient India and represent one of the oldest surviving harp traditions.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
"Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1978), Vol. XXXV, No. 3, pg. 33, ill.
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Asia, Gallery 27. 2. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1903, vol. II, pg. 55, ill.
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Gallery 27. 1. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1901, vol. I, pg. 55, ill.
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations: I. Europe, Galleries 25 and 26, Central Cases of Galleries 27 and 28. Catalogue., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, vol. 13, pg. 17.