A 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 further bass ravalement in 1750 by François Étienne Blanchet.  Later is was given a treble ravalement in 1786 by Jacques Barberini and Nicolas Hoffmann.




These photographs show the decoration on the outside (top) and on the inside (bottom) of the front flap.

The front flap decorations have, at this stage, been cleaned of the linseed-oil varnish, but have not yet been restored.

The top photograph shows the Forge Scene which begins the Triumph of Love sequence that then carries on around the cheek, bentside and tail.  The bottom photograph shows the unique decoration of the inside of the front flap.  This surface, of course, is never ever seen and so its elaborate decoration is highly unusual.  Clearly, as with the decoration of the spine side of the instrument, this is a good example of the lavish decoration of this instrument on which no expense was spared!


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


 Problems encountered in the ethical restoration of this harpsichord


 The attributions of the 1750 state to  François Étienne Blanchet, Christophe Huet and François Boucher


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This page was last revised on 19 December 2021.