Flemish, 17th century
The instruments made by members of the Ruckers family during the late 16th and 17th centuries are considered to be the finest representatives of the Northern school of harpsichord making. Well over three centuries old, this single manual-harpsichord by Andreas Ruckers (b. 1579-d. after 1645) with its full and resonant tone makes it easy to understand why the Ruckers instruments were so highly prized and widely imitated during subsequent generations. The instrument was later rebuilt, probably in England in the early 18th century, at which time the range was extended and English-type jacks were supplied.
Compass: Four octaves and three notes: C to d''' One manual, two choirs of strings (1x8', 1x4') Inscription (on the name batten): "Andreas Ruckers me fecit Antwerpiae". The exterior of the case and lid are painted with brown, marble-effect central panels surrounded by grey-green borders. The inside of the case above the soundboard and the top of the jackrail are covered with plack and white block-printed paper of arabesque pattern. The inside of the lid is covered with a central panel of greyish-green moiré paper over which are inscribed latin mottos. Length: 181.3cm; width: 72.7cm; depth of case: 24.1cm. Octave span: 16.1cm. Scale: c'' = 33.2cm
Provenance: The Belle Skinner Collection
Accession No. 4878.1960