A Very Fine French Louis XVI Period Carved, Gilt and Hand Painted Wooden Harp by Jean-Henri Naderman (Swiss, 1735-1799). The ornately carved body with acanthus leaves and painted with flowers, ribbons, musical trophies and pastoral scenes as well as Chinoiserie figures. Stamped: N. Naderman - A Paris. Circa: 1780
Height: 63 1/2 inches (161.5 cm)
Jean-Henri Naderman - (also spelt 'Nadermann') was born in Fribourg , Switzerland, in 1735 and died in Paris in 1799. He was one of the leading harp-makers in Paris in the 18th century, and also a music publisher. In 1778 he was appointed facteur de l' harpe ordinaire or harpmaker in ordinary, to Queen Marie-Antoinette of France (1755 - 1793). The queen played the harp and helped make it hightly fashionable in the salons in Paris, which would help explain why there were as many as fifty-eight teachers of the harp in Paris by 1784. In such surroundings, lavishly decorated examples like this one would have been highly appropriate and desirable. This instrument is fitted with crochettes, right-angled hooks, which were operated by foot-pedals and raised the pitch of each string by one semi-tone, a popular device during this period. He had two sons, François Joseph Naderman, renowned harpist, and Henri Naderman, harp maker.
Jean-Henri Naderman was baptised (and presumably born) in Lichtenau in the archdiocese of Paderborn, but emigrated to France around 1756 where he began working as a harp manufacturer. Later in 1777 he was licensed to work as a music publisher. He rose to fame when he was commissioned to create and perfect the harps of Queen Marie-Antoinette on her arrival in France, together with the Czech composer and harpist Jean-Baptiste Krumpholtz.
The Naderman single-pedal harp is supposed to have been modelled after the successful eighteenth-century Bavarian single-action mechanism pedal harp, whose manufacture, although claimed by several other harp makers including Jean Paul Vetter of Nuremberg and Johann Hausen of Weimar, is often attributed to Jacob Hochbrucker. Today, six harps of this specific model have been located. Jean-Henri Naderman died in Paris.
Droysen-Reber, Doris: "Naderman Familie", in: Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG), supplement volume (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2008), cc. 597–8.
Wenonah Milton, Govea (1995). Nineteenth- and twentieth-century harpists: a bio-critical sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 207. ISBN 0-313-27866-0.
Wolf, Beat. "Pedal Harp Jakob Hochbrucker, Donauworth, 1728" (PDF). Beatwolf.ch.
Institut de recherche sur le patrimoine musical en France. "Écoles et traditions régionales (2e partie)".
Ornately Decorated Harp by Naderman, 1797 on the National Music Museum - University of South Dakota.