Ruckers & Blanchet
Ruckers & Taskin
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
17th century harpsichords à gran ravalement - Offering
on trestle stand