After being purchased by prominent Angus figure Patrick Allan Fraser for his musically gifted wife Elizabeth, the Hospitalfield harp had fallen into disrepair.
The Grecian harp was made around 1830 by Sebastian Erand, a pioneer of instrument design in the early 19th century and it has long been an ambition of Hospitalfield staff to repair the instrument and bring it back into use. Having sourced a company which could do the repair work, a crowdfunding bid was launched in October and a concert using the harp is being planned for next summer.
The crowdfunding campaign raised £2,215 from 36 backers, falling short of the target of £4,800. However, several subsequent donations mean that the restoration work can begin and the prized instrument will be sent to specialists Pilgrim Harps before Christmas.
Hospitalfield’s programme and facilities manager Laura Simpson said, “It was good to see that people were interested in bringing this really exceptional instrument back to life.
“It’s definitely encouraging and we can’t wait to share the joy of the harp in such a wonderful way at the concert which will be part of our inaugural summer festival.
“Additional people got in touch with us when they got to know about the crowdfunding campaign and said they wanted to support it in different ways.
“The concert next year will definitely take place but we would welcome any additional support that people can give us.”
“The concert will be a mixture of contemporary and classical music so people will be able to hear music which was from the same era that the harp was made,” Laura added.
“The festival has lots of different events including collaboration with different schools and a garden open weekend.”
The restored harp will complete a trio of instruments which were used by the Allan Frasers. A Broadwood piano is in the centre of the picture gallery and the Kirckmann harpsichord is in the drawing room.