West Highland Museum
This beautifully decorated clarsach, or Scottish harp, is in the style of the Queen Mary harp, so named because the original design dates from the reign of Mary Queen of Scots.
The clarsach is the oldest national instrument of Scotland. Long before the bagpipe became synonymous with Highlands music, the harp was used for Gaelic music. There have even been harp designs featured on Pictish stones.
This grand instrument in carved wood dates from the late-nineteenth century. With semi-heraldic animals, Celtic designs, leaves and crosses, it is typical of West Highland art.
It is known at the Poltalloch harp because it is believed to have been purchased by Colonel Edward Malcolm of Poltalloch House.