Italian Single Manual Harpsichord

Description (Brief)
This harpsichord was made by an unknown maker in Italy, in the 19th century. It is a single manual harpsichord with a compass of C/E - c3, and a disposition of 1 x 8’. The harpsichord has a cypress soundboard with an unusually large rose of gilt parchment and canvas surrounded by raised beading of gilt gesso, and boxwood naturals and ebony accidentals. There is a spurious nameboard that is inscribed: “Giovanni Andrea Menegoni. Venetus. Ficit. [sic] 1690.”
The inseparable outer case is elaborately painted with a pale yellow background with panels outlined in relief decorations. The panels feature medallions with profile heads surrounded by painted floral and rope designs. The interior of the lid is painted with a landscape with figures and buildings. The two painted front legs are joined by a lyre and the third leg carved differently and painted with similar decorations.
There are examples of Menegoni harpsichords in the Historisches Museum Basel and in the Hans Adler Collection in the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
19th century
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall (instrument only): 8 1/4 in x 28 7/8 in x 69 3/4 in; 20.955 cm x 73.3425 cm x 177.165 cm
place made
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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