Identifying the wood of the surviving historical wire-strung harps of Ireland and Highland Scotland has long been an important goal of researchers and instrument-builders. In 1969, microscopic examination of the anatomical features of the wood of two of the earliest surviving harps of this type, the Queen Mary and Lamont of National Museums Scotland, identified all parts of both as European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). Due to the importance of these two harps as early exemplars, this identification has had far-reaching implications for understanding the construction practices for this type of historical harp.

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