The Otway harp

Patrick Quin
Patrick Quin

The Otway harp is now in Trinity College Dublin, but I do not know when they acquired it. Joan Rimmer in 1969 credits Capt. R.J.O. Otway-Ruthven, so it must have been after that. Armstrong tells us that it was in the posession of the Otway family at Castle Otway already by 1850, and says it is not known how it got there.

Bunting refers to it as “Quins harp”, and it is also mentioned in an interesting letter from James MacDonnell who compares its tone unfavourably with that of Rose Mooney’s harp.

The engraving on the right is a very romanticised version of a watercolour portrait of Quin in the Ulster Museum. The painting clearly shows him holding the Otway harp. More about Patrick Quin...


Simon Chadwick