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



Detail of The painting of the inside of the lid



          The author of this painting has yet to be determined.  But, like the painting of the figures on the top of the lid, it is of extremely high quality and compares with the best Parisian landscape artists active around 1750.  It shows a sylvan landscape with groups of figures engaged in rural activities.  The figures are painted in a vigorous, free style and it seems likely that they hold the key to an eventual attribution of this landscape painting.


For more details of the lid paintings at an early stage of cleaning and restoration click here.


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.