Italian Transverse, Single Manual Harpsichord

Description (Brief)
This harpsichord was made by an unknown maker in Italy, in the early 18th century. It is a transverse, single manual harpsichord with a compass of FF - c3 (no FF# and GG#), and a disposition of 1 x 8’, 1 x 4’. The harpsichord has a cypress soundboard and the projecting keyboard, when pushed all the way in, plays 8’ alone; when pulled halfway out plays 8’ and 4’ together; when pulled all the way out, 4’ alone. The naturals are dark-stained hardwood with arcaded fronts and the accidentals are made of dark-stained hardwood capped with ebony and have diamond-shaped mother-of-pearl inlays at the base and small ivory buttons on top.
The inseparable case is made of painted wood and has a three-legged stand. The interior of the lid is painted with a landscape in a cartouche surrounded by ornamental scrolls.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paint (overall material)
place made
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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