Copy of a Ruckers 'spinett' virginal

Made in Edinburgh by Grant O’Brien in 1981

 Ruckers 'spinett' virginal by Grant O'Brien, Edinburgh, 1981


Details about the decoration of this copy

           The decoration of this instrument is based the surviving features of the traditional decoration of many Ruckers instruments.  The outside of the case and lid are marbled to imitate a green porphyry marble which was a very popular architectural building material used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries throughout Europe.  The inside surfaces of the case and lid are decorated with hand-printed block papers made from blocks cut and printed by Grant O’Brien.  The inside of the lid uses a block-printed pattern which is meant to imitate green watered silk, although the same pattern was also printed in brown ochre to simulate figured ash.  The natural keyplates are made of bone and the sharps of bog oak, both of these being the traditional materials used in the original Ruckers instruments.  In many places - on the lid, jackrail, the upper case mouldings and the front keywell moulding for example - the underlying poplar wood is left visible and is covered only in a layer of varnish.


           All of the decoration including the preparation of the block-printed papers, the soundboard painting, and the case marbling was carried out by Grant O’Brien.


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