Franco-Flemish double-manual harpsichord, originally a 'transposing' harpsichord made in Antwerp in 1617 by an unknown maker.  It was given a bass ravalement in Paris sometime between 1742 and 1750.  Then it received a major alteration when it was lavishly decorated and given a treble ravalement in 1750 by François Étienne Blanchet.  Later is was given a treble ravalement in 1786 by Jacques Barberini and Nicolas Hoffmann. 


An original genouillère trapwork mechanism inside the keywell



This shows the usual French 18th-century genouillère trapwork mechanism in the 1770 double-manual harpsichord by Jean-Marie De De Ban, Paris.

The Franco-Flemish harpsichord had a totally different genouillère mechanism from this, but details of what it was like are, unfortunately, unknown.

 Private Collection, France.


          This photograph shows the usual internal trapwork mechanism, typically found on late eighteenth-century French harpsichords, for the genouillère in the  1777 double-manual harpsichord by Jean-Marie De De Ban.  This is typical of the type of genouillère used by Taskin, Hemsch and others during the late 18th century.  The roller bars for the lower-manual 8' and the 4' registers can be seen clearly.  The paddles at the near end of these roller bars are lifted by the knee levers and rotate the roller bars which are attached to the longitudinal bars in the background which are attached, in turn, to the external rocker bars placed on the spine side of the instrument.

          In the Franco-Flemish harpsichord originally had a totally different and unique type of genouillère which had some features in common with this, but which did not have the external rocker bars found on virtually all other 18th-century harpsichord with a genouillère.  Unfortunately this unique type of genouillère was removed, probably by Arnold Dolmetsch, sometime before the sale of the instrument by Sotheby's in 1927.  Because the system used in the Franco-Flemish harpsichord was probably unique, the removal of this system by Dolmetsch must be considered one the the greatest restoration crimes of the twentieth century.


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