The Jaw Harp: Heavenly Metal

September 22, 2010, 18:41 pm  Posted by Lark Jewelry & Beading

Jaw harp, Jew’s harp, juice harp, mouth harp, Ozark harp, trump harp, English trump, guimbarde, lamellophone…the list of names goes on and on.

Whatever you call it, this simple metal object is my latest obsession. There is so much grace in this design.

Since a jaw harp is meant to be played, its function must have dictated its design. Can the absolute clarity of purpose makes a design more beautiful? Hm. I’ll have to chew on that for a while.

Speaking of chewing, I love the way this object relates to the body. The scale of the object to the mouth is more intimate than, say, a trombone. To me, it feels like jewelry.

Informative jaw harp illustrations:

Vintage jaw-harp packaging:

Different style and types of jaw harps, both old and new.


7 Responses

    Carijanehakes says:

    The images of all the new and old harps are very interesting – they chart a kind of aesthetic history of form and materials. Thank you!

    nancylou says:

    Wow. very cool. Love the vintage packaging.

    Kara says:

    They really are an elegant design, aren’t they? They remind me of tuning forks: simple, functional, neato. :)

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