Copy of a ‘French’ model Ruckers harpsichord

Made in Edinburgh by Grant O’Brien in 1985


Lock and hasp of the 'French' double-manual harpsichord


Details about the lid hasp and lock and the marble decoration

The front flap of Ruckers harpsichords was traditionally hinged along its lower edge to the front edge of the baseboard.  The lid could be locked to this flap using a normal hasp and lock as shown in this figure.  On this copy the axle pins of the front flap hinges were made so that they could be removed enabling the flap to be removed as well in order to allow the knees of the player to pass underneath the front of the instrument.  (The original front flap was not removable, probably because the instruments were played in a standing position or using a very high stool or chair, so that the player’s knees were positioned in front of the instrument rather than underneath it as is now normal.)


The figure also gives a good idea of the fake marbling used to decorate the outside of the case.  This marbling was done in a very free way and did not really resemble true marble very much.  The marbling on this Ruckers copy is an attempt to decorate the instrument in a way that was less naïve than that used to decorate the original instruments, but which still did not attempt to fool the observer totally into thinking that the instrument was actually made of marble!


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