Pfeiffer Double Manual Harpsichord

Description (Brief)
This harpsichord was made by Carl A. Pfeiffer in Stuttgart, Germany in 1909. It is a double manual harpsichord with a compass of FF - f3, and a disposition of 1 x 16’ (lower), 2 x 8’ and 1 x 4’ (upper), with buff and shove coupler. The functions of the 4 hand stops is upper left “forte 16‘ (raises dampers), lower left “Coppel” (slides in upper manual when pulled at he same time as the lower right hand stop, upper right “Laute 8‘” (buff), and lower right “Coppel.” The 4 stop action pedals operate registers (from left to right): 16’; lower 8’; upper 8’; and 4’. The harpsichord has a spruce soundboard, ebony naturals and ebony accidentals with ivory tops. The nameboard is inscribed: “Bachflügel gefertigt von Karl A. Pfeiffer Stuttgart.”
The inseparable case is veneered in dark red mahogany and is ornamented with brass decorations. The square tapered legs feature carved and gilded female figures at the top.
This harpsichord is modeled after an unsigned harpsichord in the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung in Berlin. It is a fine example of harpsichord making in the early years of the harpsichord revival around the turn of the 20th century.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Pfeiffer, Carl A.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall (without legs): 12 1/2 in x 38 1/2 in x 94 1/2 in; 31.75 cm x 97.79 cm x 240.03 cm
place made
Deutschland: Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart
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 Hugo Worch
Additional Media

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