L. (diagonally) 82 cm (32 5/16 in.); soundbox: L. 36 cm (14 3/16 in.
Rogers Fund, 1943
Not on view
Egyptian arched harps from Dynasty 4 onward coexisted with a great variety of harps in different shapes and sizes. Two harp types were most common—the arched harp with a curved neck, like this one, and the angled harp with a neck sharply perpendicular to the body. Unlike most European versions, ancient Egyptian harps have no forepillars to strengthen and support the neck. Older forms of arched harps had four or five strings, this harp has twelve strings. Skin once covered the open, slightly waisted sound box. Rope tuning rings under each string gave a buzzing sound to the soft-sounding tone produced. Topping the arched frame of the harp is a carved human head.
Purchased from Joseph Brummer Gallery, New York, 1943. Purchased by Brummer from Frank Tano, 1942.
Hayes, William C. 1959. Scepter of Egypt II: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Hyksos Period and the New Kingdom (1675-1080 B.C.). Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 197, fig. 112.
Moore J. Kenneth, Jayson Kerr Dobney, and Bradley Strauchen-Scherer 2015. Musical Instruments: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2015. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.