COLLECTION: Musical Instruments

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Spinet

1745-1750
Origin: England, London
Net dimensions exclude lid, stand and projecting moldings. All dimensions in mm except where noted. Length: net 1,831 mm; Width: net 691 mm; Height: 802 mm (net 200 mm)
Mahogany: case veneer, string inlay on inner rim; Oak: bent side; Softwoods: case sides except bent side; Plain light hardwood: string inlay and inscription cartouche; Sycamore: inner rim veneer; Spruce: soundboard; Beech: bridge, nut, pin block, hitch-pin rail and soundboard molding; Limewood: key levers; Fruitwood(?): jacks, upper jack register; Ring-porous hardwood: stand; Ebony: sharps; Ivory: natural key tops; Brass: hinges, lock escutcheon, bridge pins, nut pins; Iron: tuning pins
Gift of Miss Charlotte Morton
Acc. No. 1976-421,A
CASE DECORATION: The case has mahogany veneer with holly(?) stringing forming rectangular panels; a molding runs along the bottom. The interior rim is veneered with lightly curled maple(?) and two lines of inlaid mahogany. End-blocks are topped in white wood with one line of inlaid mahogany.
KEYWELL: The keywell has the same decoration as the exterior; stringing forms two panels. The name batten is similarly decorated with a rectangular holly(?) inscription cartouche.
LID: Most of the drip molding is now missing from the lid. The hinges are a common pattern of spinet hinges of the period. A lid hook is at the center of the bent side.
STAND AND PEDALS: The turned "Jacobian" style trestle stand never had any casters. The trestle has exposed bolts and a bead molding cut into the top front arris.
COMPASS: GG, AA–g3
OCTAVES: 5 oct.
STOPS: none
Label:This rather ordinary-looking bentside spinet harpsichord is a unique survival from the production of John Belthazar Zopfe, a London harpsichord and clavichord maker who worked from at least 1747 until his death in 1750. He was a native of Schwanden, Switzerland, where he was also known as a clavichord maker, and he was related by marriage to another Schwanden native -- Burkat Shudi, the famous London harpsichord maker.

The Instrument was given to Colonial Williamsburg in 1976 by Miss Charlotte Morton, a descendent of the Bouldin family of Charlotte county. Its first owner was Joanna Tyler Bouldin, who lived in Williamsburg until the death of her father in 1773 and was an aunt of President John Tyler. She evidently took it with her when she moved to Charlotte county in 1775, and it remained in the family until Miss Morton purchased it at a family auction in the early 1970s.
Provenance:Owned by Bouldin family from ca. 1840s until given to CWF in 1976
Inscription(s):"Johannes Balthasar Zopfe Londini Fecit" in ink on nameboard