Single Manual Harpsichord

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Description (Brief)
This harpsichord was made by an unknown maker, late 19th - early 20th century. It is a single manual harpsichord made in a pseudo-Flemish style with a compass of C/E - f3, and a disposition of 1 x 8”, 1 x 4’, and 2 knobs (one missing) for moving slides that protrude through the cheek piece. The harpsichord has a spruce soundboard with painted floral designs and a blue floral arabesque around the rose hole with a modern cast metal Ruckers-style rose bearing the initials “HR,” and ebony naturals and ivory-topped accidentals. The nameboard is inscribed: “TERRAE REDDO QUOD A COELI ACCEPI” (of what I received from the sky).
The separable outer case is made of wood with painted seascapes and the interior of the lid is painted with a seascape and ships. The case interior is lined with modern imitation Flemish paper. The instrument has a painted wooden stand with gilt decorations and six cabriole legs. It appears that this instrument was made by a workman generally familiar with antique harpsichords but not following any particular style very closely. There is nothing which indicates that it is a rebuild of an authentic earlier instrument in any detail whatsoever.
Currently not on view
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 39 3/4 in x 35 in x 73 in; 100.965 cm x 88.9 cm x 185.42 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Cooper Union Museum
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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