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 foot of one of the legs of the harpsichord stand



          This photographs shows a detail of the foot of one of the legs of the stunningly-beautiful stand under this harpsichord.  This stand is the same width as the present 1786 date of the last extension and, although it is very much in the style of Louis XV must date from the 1786 ravalement.  The stand shows a good example of the wonderful carving and gilding, typical of the artisan who made the rest of the stand.  As can be seen there is even undercutting at the back of the foot - a detail that is virtually hidden and a luxury that remains almost un-noticed.


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 15 January 2022.