STATE BEFORE RESTORATION
The harp is in very good shape, the body well straight, the soundboard is flat. The mechanism responds easily to pedal action. In the bass there are five thick plain gut strings of modern gauge! The center strip (bridge rail) is ripped off the sound board. Inside the sound box we can clearly observe that somebody has tried to change the bracing.
THE MAIN RESTORATION TASKS
The sound board: To restore the original design correctly and without compromises, I have decided to take the sound board off the body shell. After the inner bracing has been completed in the original manner, I prepared the gluing process for the soundboard.
The function of the mechanism: The seven pedals - connected by the pedal rods which run through the sound box - are acting the seven linking rods, hidden in the hollowed neck. The inner linkage is connected to the brass levers, whose axles lead through the neck to the left exterior. Here the turning crutches are fixed and so they can grasp the strings by a semitone.
Signatures: On a linking rod of the mechanism I have found the sign with date of execution, probably by a clock maker. It reads best as a "G O' do '1728 L". Another sign "Blakey" refers to the metallurgist William Blakey who was trading on watch springs in France.
The mechanism: In order to be able to clean all parts, I dismantle the whole linkage. The bridge pins and the semitone-pins remain in the wood.
The pedals end as short stumps, which are acted by the shoe tips. To keep the pedals engaged, each pedal has a brass tongue with a spring, screwed at the body shell. If the shoe tip presses the tongue against the body, the pedal can release.
The stringing: I have reconstructed a stringing which comes probable close to original. It has about 1100 N total tension at 415 Hz, tuning in E-flat major (or B-flat major). The lowest four gut strings are silver wound. It seems generally possible that a meantone temperament was intended, so I used the intonation of 6th comma. The very light stringing shall be tuned only for temporarily playing; otherwise, the harp shall stay with the string tension released.