Binks Gallery Tour – Harpsichords

Harpsichords come is a variety of shape and sizes. These different styles of design have resulted in different names. In this gallery and in the 1812 gallery you will see virginals, which are harpsichords with a rectangular shape, and spinets, a type of small harpsichord made to be placed against a wall.

Single-Manual Harpsichord
Double-Manual Harpsichord



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Single-Manual Harpsichord
Maker: Unknown Date Made: Circa 1620 Made In: Italy Accession No: 4302
This triple-keyboard harpsichord is too good to be true. Antique dealer Leopold Franciolini added two keyboards to the original instrument to concoct a ‘rare’ 17th-century harpsichord. This instrument is an example of the work of the notorious instrument dealer Leopoldo Franciolini and its current state is by no means original or representative of a historical state with it being shortened and the three keyboards were inserted.
Double-Manual Harpsichord
Maker: Pascal Taskin Date Made: 1769 Made In: Paris, France Accession No: 4315
This harpsichord is the real deal. Instruments described as ‘Taskin 1769s’ have been gracing international concert halls since at least 1882, but this is the French original, produced over a century before. It’s the most copied harpsichord ever and the most famous harpsichord in the world. All because of its rich, resonant sound. Because of its splendid sound and the elegance of its decoration, this instrument is probably now the most copied and most famous harpsichord in the world.
St Cecilia's Hall