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)
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, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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