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 spine side of the instrument




          This photograph gives a wonderful idea of the splendour of this harpsichord.  The outside of the case and lid 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 painting of the figures on the top of the lid are attributed to François Boucher, Paris, 1750.  The decorations around these figures and the spine decorations are attributed to Christophe Huet, Paris, 1770.

         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.


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

Return to the main page of this section

Home page