19C T. Dodd & Sons London Harp

PRESENTING A GORGEOUS mid19th Century Harp by Thomas Dodd & Sons of 3 Berners Street, London from circa 1860.

STUNNING Neo-classical gilt mounts and inlay to head and base. Made of satinwood with gilt stringing.

Solid brass to the stringing plate.

Fully marked an engraved for the maker on the brass plate : “T. Dodd & Sons, Patent Harp, 3 Berners Street, London, No. 530.”

Also marked on the front as “ Sold by George Morley, Harp Maker from Erards, 6 Sussex Place, South Kensington, London“.

Thomas (I) Dodd

(c. 1764 – 1834)By: John DilworthDODD, Thomas (I) Born 1764, died 1834 London UK. Bow maker. Son of Edward Dodd (I), above. Said to have apprenticed first in a brewery, but active as a bow maker from 1784 with an address in Blue Bell Alley, Southwark. By 1794 he was working from 11 New Street, Covent Garden, premises previously established as a music shop by William Campbell. Here Dodd’s business expanded to violin making and dealing. In 1798 he employed B. S. Fendt and J. F. Lott, and in 1809 moved to a larger building at 92 St Martin’s Lane, at which point Fendt left to work for Betts. In 1813 he acquired further property at 3 Berners Street, which became his sole business address in 1825. By this time he had expanded.

Link: https://www.amati.com/en/maker/dodd-thomas-i

George Morley (1790 – 1852)

1st Married Ann Harker 1817 – 1837 and married a 2nd time Mary Ann Killick Kent 1846 1895 it was from the 2nd marriage that Joseph George Morley was born . George Morley registered his harp making, tuning and repair business at 95 High St, White Chapel, London, in 1817. His brother, Charles Morley (1796–1858), entered into partnership with him in 1820. A single action pedal harp dated around 1810 in the Henry Ford Museum is believed to be the work of George Morley. In the 1860s, Charles’ son Robert (1840–1916) and George’s son Joseph George (1847–1921) were both apprenticed to the Paris harp maker, Érard.

Joseph George Morley (1847 – 1922)

inherited his father’s harp business and went on to become Britain’s most prominent harp maker. Following the demise of Érard’s London operation in 1890, Joseph George took over Érard’s London stock and goodwill and established a shop and workshops at 6 Sussex Place, South Kensington, London. In 1893 he acquired the business of Philip Holcombe, the maker of both Dodd and Dizi harps. Joseph George Morley designed and built a 48 string pedal harp called The Morley Orchestral Twentieth Century Harp. It was marketed as The Largest Pedal Harp in the World. He was also the author of three books on the harp: Strings, Stringing and Tuning (unknown date); Harp History (1913) and Harp Playing (1918).

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morley_Harps

“A Grecian Thomas Dodd HarpEngraved T Dodd & Sons Patent Harp 3 Berners St London No. 643 height 1701mm (66 15/16in) the capitol with Grecian figures and other Grecian imagery and all over gilt decoration, the fluted column of wood with some gilt paint, the base with further gilt painted Grecian foliate decoration and figures, 2 paw feet to front, 2 pad feet, 7 double action pedals, no swell doors, 44 strings, later soundboard and decoration, with cloth cover. ”

Link: https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/16906/lot/47/

In our humble opinion our harp is of much greater quality then the Bonham’s example. Our’s is in beautiful original condition and has the most glorious neo-classical stenciling and inaly work with stringing that elevates it to a different level. Also, ours is a MUCH OLDER example from the early 19th Century.

KINDLY NOTE that this harp is NOT being sold as a fully functional musical instrument but as a highly decorative and historical treasure!

We have had it examined by a professional harp restorer who has informed us that due to it’s age it is not suitable for use as a proper musical instrument. He is of the opinion that the strain on the motherboard by re-stringing and tightening the strings to a ‘playable’ condition would be too much for the ancient wood to bear. We are, however, getting it restrung so that it appears complete and makes some musical sound….. but we will not do anything that would adversely affect the structural integrity of the piece.


19C Dodd & Sons London Harp.

Provenance: From a Private Dallas Collection.

Condition: Some minor condition issues. There is a repair to part of the wooden support (a small filled hole). One or two pieces of the carved giltwork is missing on the base. It currently is not fully strung but read our intentions on re-stringing above. There is some slight discoloration to one of the stenciled neo-classical ladies to the base. Otherwise, we would describe this as being in very good original condition.

Dimensions: 66.2″ Tall, 22″ Wide at the base and 34″ Long.


19C Dodd & Sons London Harp

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