A Franco-Flemish double-manual harpsichord,
A view from the bentside of the instrument
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 author of the paintings of the putti engaged in a 'Triumph of love' is not yet known, but it may also be François Boucher. The outside of the case and the inside of the lid have now been cleaned and, once restored, should look particularly brilliant and beautiful.
The stand is very fine and beautifully carved and gilded. The height of the stand is greater than normal and raises the instrument into a slightly higher playing position than normal.