Custom Instruments

Flemish 17th Century
Double-Manual Harpsichords

ŕ grand ravalement




After Ruckers & Blanchet

After Ruckers & Taskin

Flemish double-manual harpsichord after Ruckers & Blanchet

The history of the harpsichord in France during the 18th century is intimately related to the practice of ravalement (refashioning) and redisposition of the Ruckers and other Flemish instruments inherited from the previous age. These antiques, with their appealing naive decoration and vibrant sound, were eminently collectible. An extinguished line of makers held in highest regard further assured their stature. If many of the so-called Ruckers harpsichords first saw the light of day in 18th century Parisian shops, many more of true 17th century Flemish origin were re-christened Ruckers for purposes of salability.

This is certainly the case with the instrument handed down to us by Ruckers and ravalé by Blanchet (above). Although made of century old Flemish parts, and disguised with an 18th century forgery of a Ruckers soundboard painting, the tonal design differed not at all from the practices of the Blanchet workshop.

Ruckers-Taskin on carved baluster stand decorated in Flemish styleThe harpsichord after Ruckers and Taskin (left), on the other hand, is just that. We can be fairly certain that underneath the layers of Parisian work there is a single Ruckers harpsichord still enough intact to give a faint hint of the Ruckers mystique.

Our 18th century double manual ŕ grand ravalement after Ruckers and Taskin has a range of five octaves, FF-f''', 61 notes; transposing. It is disposed with upper manual 1 x 8', lower manual 1 x 8', 1 x 4', buff stop, optional peau de buffle; handstops & shove coupler.

These harpsichords offer various possibilities for decoration. For example, block printed papers for the interior of lid and case with a plain or marbled exterior, or the plainer fashion of a French 18th century harpsichord.

Flemish 17th century harpsichords à gran ravalement - Offering Sheet


Ruckers-Taskin on trestle stand


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