O Ruin’d Harp; Unique

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Origin: English
Period: Regency & Contemporary
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1810 & c.2018
Height: 73” (the whole with mount)
Width: 38”
Depth: 17”

The large and fine stuffed and mounted barn owl (Tyto alba) specimen with DOE and Cites certificate, spread-eagled amidst landing upon a distressed Regency period ebonised and gilt wood and gesso harp by Sebastian Erard, maker by special appointment to his Majesty and the royal family.


O thou, who, ’mid the forest trees,
With thy harmonious trembling strain,
Could’st change at once to soothing ease,
My love-sick bosom’s cruel pain:
Thou droop’st in dreary silence now,
With shiver’d frame, and broken string,
While here, unhelp’d, beneath the bough
I sit, and feebly strive to sing.

The moon no more illumes the ground;
In night and vapour dies my lay;
For with thy sweet and melting sound
Fled, all at once, her silver ray:
O soon, O soon, shall this sad heart,
Which beats so low, and bleeds so free,
O’ercome by its fell load of smart,
Be broke, O ruin’d harp, like thee!


George Borrow (1803-1881)

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