Marie Antoinette was taught to play the harp by Philippe Joseph Hinner and she flourished. Naturally, the young lady needed a harp fit for a queen and in November 1774, instrument-maker Jean-Henri Naderman was happy to oblige. He created this fabulous harp and it was presented to Marie Antoinette on her nineteenth birthday in 1774, to the queen's utter delight.
Richly decorated with flowers and featuring painted depictions of Minerva, the patroness of artists, the harp is truly a thing of beauty and no doubt suited Marie Antoinette to a tee! The harp served a practical purpose as the young mother would soothe her children to sleep by accompanying her own lullabies with its melody and she treasured it for many years.
|Marie Antoinette playing the harp at the French Court by Jean-Baptiste André Gautier d'Agoty, 1777|
Life in the Georgian Court, true tales of 18th century royalty, is available at the links below.