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Aeolian harp

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Long rectangular body of wedge-shaped cross-section, with removable cover, made of pine throughout. Body and cover painted cream white with light green stripe along all edges. Center of cover painted with two white flowers and foliage. Round soundhole (diameter 43 mm) at center of soundboard....

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Handwritten in graphite pencil on underside of body: This belonged to my great grandmother Eliot, / given to me by Papa / May 13th 1883 / Sally Norton


Before 1829, Catherine Eliot née Atkins (1758-1829), who was married to Samuel Eliot (1748/9-1820), a distinguished Boston merchant and president of the Massachusetts Bank; 1829, by descent to her daughter, Mrs. Andrews Norton (Catherine Atkins Eliot, b. 1793), Boston, Massachusetts; before 1908, by descent to her son, Charles Eliot Norton (1829-1908), a professor of fine art at Harvard University; after 1908, by descent to his daughter, Sarah Norton (b. 1865), Boston, Massachusetts; 1912, gift of Sarah Norton to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 22, 2007)

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Sarah Norton


Object Place

Probably United States


Length 74.8 cm, width 13.7 cm, height 10.6 cm (Length 29 7/16 in., width 5 3/8 in., height 4 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



Musical Instruments


Musical instruments, Chordophones