Joseph Mahoon Spinet

Description (Brief)
This harpsichord was made by Joseph Mahoon in London, England, in 1753. It is a bentside spinet with a compass of GG - g3, and a disposition of 1 x 8’. This spinet has a spruce soundboard, with ebony naturals with ivory arcaded fronts and ebony covered accidentals. The nameboard is inscribed:" Joseph Mahoon," and the lowest key is marked “1753.”
The inseparable case is made of painted wood with a simulated wood-grain finish. The separate trestle stand is made of made of wood with plain legs.
The spinet was a popular domestic keyboard instrument in England and America during the 18th century. A household that could not afford or did not have room for a full-sized harpsichord or organ, the spinet became the keyboard of choice.
Joseph Mahoon (fl. 1729-1773) was a prominent spinet and harpsichord maker in London. In 1729, Mahoon (pronounced and sometimes written Moon) was appointed “Harpsichord Maker to His Majestie” (King George II, who reigned from 1725 to 1760).
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Mahoon, Joseph
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
instrument: 8 1/2 in x 72 3/4 in x 29 3/4 in; 21.59 cm x 184.785 cm x 75.565 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of F.H. and H.A. Vinton
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.