Binks Gallery Tour – Spinets

A spinet is a smaller type of harpsichord or other keyboard instrument, such as a piano or organ. The earliest known spinet was made by Hieronymus de Zentis in 1631. It is quite possible that Zentis was the inventor of the type so widely copied in other countries.




Exit Tour

Spinet Harpsichord
Maker: Thomas Hitchcock Date Made: 1728 Made In: London Accession No: 4310
This is an instrument of the double-curve bentside shape, with ‘skunk-tail’ accidentals which are a particular Hitchcock speciality. The angled keyboard of this 18th-century spinet allowed its player to face their audience, even when the instrument was placed against a wall in the home. Genteel young women who were keen to show off their fine keyboard skills to a potential suitor might, therefore, be able to catch a young man’s eye as they played.
St Cecilia's Hall