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 plan view of the harpsichord after the cleaning of the soundboard, but before stringing


          Like most of the inside and outside of the case, the soundboard was coated in a thick coat of insoluble linseed-oil varnish.  This had to be removed mechanically using a sharp scalpel.  The painting of the flower groups and the wreath around the soundboard rosette are in the style of Mabel Dolmetsch and have been attributed to her.

          The wrestplank with both nuts had been replaced in the 'restoration' of the instrument by Roberto de Regina in Buenos Aires in 1971.  This photograph shows the new wrestplank, nuts and the new leather-topped registers of the present restoration.  Particular care was taken during the present restoration both with the lateral spacing of the register slots and the nut-pin spacings.  Careful attention was also given to position the nuts so that the scalings of the instrument were based on simple numbers of the French pouce and gave normal string lengths for an eighteenth-century French harpsichord. 


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


Return to the main page of this section


Go back to my home page