1764-83 Goermans Taskin harpsichord

Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments, University of Edinburgh

Catalogue number HD5-JG1764.29


Soundboard view of the Goermans/Taskin harpsichord


Details about the soundboard painting

          The soundboard is painted by one of the known soundboard decorators who worked on other instruments by Jean Goermans.  The dark ring around the rosette almost certainly carried the original signature of Jean Goermans.  When the instrument was altered by Pascal Taskin in 1783/84 it appears that Taskin obliterated Goermans signature, altered the initials in the rosette from ‘IG’ (Ioannes Goermans) to ‘IC’ (Ioannes Couchet) and stained the soundboard dark brown to make it look older than it actually was.  Indeed because Goermans had used a casting of an original Couchet rosette for his own instruments, changing only the ‘C’ into a ‘G’, it was a simple matter to remove the seraphs from the ‘G’ and convert it back into a ‘C’.  The deception was complete!


          Genuine instruments by Ruckers and Couchet had a sale value in Paris of as much as 10 times the value of a new contemporary instrument.  Taskin therefore probably sold the instrument as a Couchet and made a handsome profit in the process.




          Full details of this instrument can be found on the Russell Collection Website at:

Catalogue of The Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments


and a Ύ-view of the instrument can be seen at:

Goermans Taskin Ύ-view