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collection of the Czech Museum of Music document the Czech socio-cultural context in which the harps of the French instrument maker were used from the late nineteenth century until the middle of the twentieth. Key words: Sébastien Erard, harp, Czech Museum of Music instrument collection, pedal harp, single- action pedal harp, double-action pedal harp, musical instrument manufacturers, decorating of musical instruments Introduction The current harp collection at the National Museum – Czech Museum of Music (NM‑ČMH) contains a  total of sixty‑three specimens,1 and the

individual structural improvements of the harp that were taking place in the workshops of Paris instrument makers (1747–1790). Cf. MÜLLER 1999, pp. 118–119. Daniela Kotašová 90 Musicalia 1–2 / 2016 the year 1780, a mechanism with a system of crutches (mécanique à béquilles) came into use. The French instrument maker Sébastien Erard (1752–1831) invented the fourchette (fork) mechanism with prongs on rotating disks. in 1794 erard was granted a royal patent for his invention of rotating prongs (fourchettes) on two sturdy brass disks.19 this design was employed for all