Harpsichord thumbnail 1
Harpsichord thumbnail 2
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Harpsichord

1651 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

By the early 1600s, Antwerp was the main centre of harpsichord production in Europe, and the leading makers were the Ruckers family. Ruckers harpsichords were renowned for their beautiful tone and decoration. They were cherished and kept for generations, even if many surviving examples, including this one, were subsequently altered in order to keep up with the latest musical fashions. This instrument had long been associated with the composer George Frederick Handel (1685-1759), although it is now doubtful whether he ever owned it.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Harpsichord
  • Strings
  • Part
Materials and Techniques
Pine case, with spruce soundboard; lid and soundboard painted; gilt rose
Dimensions
  • Length: 173.1cm
  • Width: 78.5cm
  • Height: 21.2cm
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
  • ANDREAS RUCKERS ME FECIT ANTVERPIAE 1651 (1) Decoration 2) Signature; Latin; Roman; keyboard; painting; paint; Ruckers, Andreas (The Elder); 1651)
  • MUSICA DONUM DEI (1) Decoration 2) Makers's mark; Latin; Roman; Inside of front portion of lid; painting; paint; Ruckers, Andreas (The Elder); 1651)
  • SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI (1) Decoration 2) Makers's mark; Latin; Roman; Inside of main portion of lid; Painting; paint; Ruckers, Andreas (The Elder); 1651)
Gallery Label
HARPSICHORD By Andreas Ruckers, the Elder, 1651 Inscribed above the keys ANDREAS RUCKERS ME FECIT ANTVERPIAE 1651 (sic) The instrument has a compass of fifty eight notes, GG, AA - f3, one four foot and two eight foot stops, and a spruce soundboard decorated with flowers and animals. Keyboard Catalogue No.: 15 This instrument was originally a single manual harpsichord with a range of forty-five notes, but was extensively altered in the eighteenth century. It was said to have belonged to Handel, but the evidence remains inconclusive. 1079-1868(pre September 2000)
Subjects depicted
Summary
By the early 1600s, Antwerp was the main centre of harpsichord production in Europe, and the leading makers were the Ruckers family. Ruckers harpsichords were renowned for their beautiful tone and decoration. They were cherished and kept for generations, even if many surviving examples, including this one, were subsequently altered in order to keep up with the latest musical fashions. This instrument had long been associated with the composer George Frederick Handel (1685-1759), although it is now doubtful whether he ever owned it.
Collection
Accession Number
1079-1868

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record createdMay 16, 2001
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