A Franco-Flemish double-manual harpsichord, originally a transposing harpsichord made in Antwerp in 1617, and then ravalé in Paris, possibly by François Étienne Blanchet in 1750, and then in stages by Jacques Barberini, Paris, c.1775 and by Nicolas Hoffman, 1786.

 

A view from the bentside of the instrument

 

 

David Henrie photographer

          This photograph gives a good idea of the splendour of this harpsichord.  The inside and the outside of the case are decorated on a ground of thick gold leaf with oil paintings on top of the gold, a process known in the eighteenth century as ‘vernis martin’.  The inside of the lid is a sylvan landscape with groups of figures engaged in rural activities. This landscape, like the figures on the outside of the lid, has been attributed to François Boucher, Paris, 1750.  The outside of the case and the inside of the lid have now been cleaned and, once restored, the affected parts should look particularly brilliant and beautiful.

         The stand is particularly fine and beautifully carved and gilded.  The height of the stand is greater than normal and raises the instrument into a high playing position.

 

Important Features of this harpsichord

 

A brief history of the musical and decorative states of the Franco-Flemish harpsichord

 

Details of the original state of the instrument

 

Details of the eighteenth-century states of this harpsichord

  

 Details of the modern history of this harpsichord

 

 A problem encountered in the ethical restoration of this harpsichord

 

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