Anonymous Single-manual Neapolitan Harpsichord in its 1904 state

Formerly the Property of Grant O’Brien, now sold to the Markiezenhof, Bergen-op-Zoom, The Netherlands


Anonymous Neapolitan harpsichord in its original case


This photograph shows the instrument with what is probably its original outer case and with its original seventeenth-century lid painting.  The front part of the lid has been altered to accommodate the sloping cheeks (probably by Hermann Seyffarth in Leipzig-Göhlis in 1904), and the painting in this part of the lid appears to be by a different hand from that of the rest of the lid.  The scene represents Andromeda chained to a rock being rescued from the sea monster by Perseus (only barely visible on the rock near the upper left).  This scene was used as an allegory of Naples:  it represents Naples (the beautiful Andromeda) being rescued by Spain (the handsome Perseus) from the Papal States (the ugly and vicious sea monster)!


The outer case seen here with its original lid painting was said to have been thrown away by the previous owner onto the streets of Paris for collection by the rubbish services.  No trace of this case nor of the lid painting now survives.  A new case has been made for the instrument by Grant O’Brien.


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