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This Welsh triple harp was bought at a local auction a few years ago by the Welsh harper Steffan Thomas of Llangristiolus. It is an interesting example, having features not usually seen on Welsh harps, such as the shoulder design and the tuning pegs, which are more typical of the late 18th century French single action pedal harps. However, its most interesting feature are the striking images reproduced on its soundboard and bottom plinth. The druid’s head with oak leaves closely resemble the image used on the Anglesey penny – the 18th century payment tokens given to the workers at Parys Mountain, Amlwch. Sadly one has not been able to date this harp or discover its maker. Perhaps it was commissioned by someone from Anglesey connected with the various Welsh cultural societies in London during late 18th and early 19th century. This individual could have employed the talents of one of the harp makers who escaped there from Paris during the French revolution. Another possibility is that the images of a druid suggest it was made by a local maker – such as harpist Richard Hughes (1826-1905) of Llanfair-yng-Nghornwy. Only further research can uncover its true history.

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