Copy of a ‘French’ model Ruckers harpsichord

Made in Edinburgh by Grant O’Brien in 1985


Soundboard decoration of the 'French' double-manual harpsichord


Details about the soundboard painting

          The soundboard of this instrument is decorated in the usual way with a rosette and paintings of flowers, fruit, insects and birds.  Scalloped blue borders outline the bridges and the edges of the soundboard and wrestplank, and elaborate blue arabesques fill out what would otherwise be empty, undecorated areas of the soundboard.  The paint used was prepared using only the traditional pigments available in the seventeenth century and using raw gum arabic as a medium.  The blue arabesques were painted using smalt (ground cobalt glass) and also used raw gum arabic as a medium.  The date, as was usual in Ioannes Ruckers harpsichords made before 1617, is painted near the middle of the wrestplank.


          The painting of the soundboard and the casting and gilding of the rosette were all carried out by Grant O’Brien.


Return to the main page of this section


Home page