GERMAN HARPSICHORDS
AVAILABLE TO COMMISSION


SINGLE MANUAL HARPSICHORD AFTER CHRISTIAN VATER, 1738. (Germanishes Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg)

From this North German family of Organ and Harpsichord makers, of which only three instruments survive, we have chosen to copy this small, brass-strung single manual for its attractive bell-like tone and its marked projection of sound. Typical case construction characteristics of this school are employed using pine bottom boards, spine and cheek, and the double-curved bentside being of hardwood. Selected European spruce is used for the soundboard, and the keyboard is of lime with ebony naturals and pearwood sharps. Both the soundwell and keywell are veneered and polished in figured sycamore, and the stand is framed with six barley-twist legs.

SPECIFICATION

Compass GG/BB-e3, (short octave with split C#, also giving AA). Transposable, 2 x 8' registers, brass strung throughout the compass. Handstops on wrestplank. Dimensions 1980mm x 825mm x 254mm, weight approximately 58kg. Specific options include painted soundboard, matching stool, carrying cover, alternative casework decoration is available. Also, a similar stand without barley twist legs is available with a small price reduction.


SINGLE MANUAL HARPSICHORD AFTER JOHANN ADOLPH HASS, 1764. (Russell Collection, Edinburgh)

The harpsichords of the Hass family are characterised by their individuality and painstaking workmanship. Both J.A.Hass and his father Hieronymus appear to have made harpsichords to special order, including very large instruments, but it is the musical qualities of this instrument which are most apparent. The sound is powerful, brilliant and clean, ideal for all periods and styles of harpsichord music. The double-curved bentside is of hardwood, while the spine, cheek, bottom boards and framing are of pine. The soundboard is of selected European spruce, the keyboard is of lime with bone naturals and ebony naturals, and the instrument is strung in red and yellow brass and iron. The original instrument, reputed to have belonged to Mozart, was unfortunately redecorated in the late nineteenth century, replacing the painted exterior with herringbone veneer, but we base our decoration on other Hass instruments, using a painted or tortoiseshelled case exterior, veneered keywell, and seven legged stand with upper and lower stretchers.

SPECIFICATION

Compass FF-f3. Transposable. 1 x 4' registers. Handstops on wrestplank. Dimensions 2311mm x 978mm x 254mm, weight approximately 65kg. Specific options include painted soundboard, chinoiserie case decoration, interior lid paintings, matching stool and carrying cover.


DOUBLE MANUAL HARPSICHORD AFTER CHRISTIAN ZELL, 1728. (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg)

Only three harpsichords by Christian Zell now survive. The one copied here has a unique, dry and uncluttered tone. This is partly due to its construction which employs a double-curved bentside, and by having a distinctive Italian influence. The outer casework is finished in lacquer with gilt foliage or tortoiseshell decoration on the cheek and bentside, whilst the keywell displays marquetry in walnut, ebony and bone. The keyboards are covered in bone with arcaded ebony fronts and solid walnut sharps. The instrument is strung in red and yellow brass and iron wire. Eight carved legs and a frame of sweeping curves make up the collapsable stand.

SPECIFICATION

Compass FF-d3. Transposable. 2 x 8’ 1 x 4’ registers. Push coupler between the manuals. Handstops on wrestplank. Dimensions 2450mm x 940mm x 279mm,approximate weight 65 Kg. Specific options include painted soundboard, chinoiserie casedecoration, interior lid paintings, matching stool and carrying cover.