COLLECTION: Musical Instruments

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Harpsichord 2M

Origin: England, London
Net dimensions exclude lid, stand and projecting moldings. All dimensions in mm except where noted. Length: 2,351 mm (net 2,329 mm); Width: 939 mm (net 927 mm); Height: 898 mm (net 297 mm)
Walnut: case veneer, lid, stand, hitch-pin rail and soundboard molding, pin block veneer; Spruce: soundboard; Oak: case substrate; Plain light hardwoods: key fronts, inscription inlay; Fruitwood: jack bodies, registers; Sycamore: veneer string inlay; Boxwood and Holly: jack tongues; Beech: bridges, nuts; Limewood: key levers; Ebony: sharps; Ivory: natural key tops; Brass: lid hinges, lid hooks, jack-rail hardware, rose, bridge pins, nut pins, hitch pins, stop knobs; Iron: tuning pins, stop levers
Gift of Mrs. S. B. Romaine
Acc. No. 1983-236,A
CASE DECORATION: The oak case is veneered with stump walnut panels surrounded by holly or boxwood stringing and walnut crossbanding. The stringing also runs around the inner rim.
KEYWELL: The keywell has walnut burl veneer outlined by stringing. The maker’s name is inscribed in ink on a plain light hardwood cartouche inlaid in the namebatten.
LID: The walnut lid is hinged into three panels.
STAND: The trestle stand appears to be original with casters.
INTERNAL NOTES: The keyboards, keyframes, and jacks of the harpsichord were made as part of the 1990s conservation, in order to preserve the original parts which remain in CWF storage, accession no. 1983-236,C.
OCTAVES: 5 oct.
STOPS: Four handstops (left to right): Lute stop; 4'; front 8'; back 8' (three sets of strings, four sets of jacks.)
Provenance:Probably owned by Arnold Dolmetsch, who performed on it in the 1890s and may account for an oral history that the instrument was the first broadcast by the BBC in 1930s; possibly passed to Lotta Van Buren of New York before sale to Alexander Mackay-Smith; given to CWF in 1983 by Joan Mackay-Smith, whose name had changed to Joan Romain by the time of transfer

Mark(s):• "IV" stamped on front section of stand in two places
• "Rebuilt by / Mr. Arthur P. Kleiner / and / Miss Van Buren / in year / 1931–1932" in ink on underside of soundboard
• "Rebuilt by Arthur P. Kleiner / Van Buren in 1932" in ink on spine liner
• "A P Kleiner / [illegible]" in ink on back of key slip between keyboards
Inscription(s):"Jacobus Kirckman Fecit Londini 1758" in ink on nameboard