Zuckermann Harpsichords International

Harpsichords, clavichords, spinets and virginals ... closely based on the best extant antiques from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Flemish Single-Manual Harpsichord After Ruckers

Flemish Single-Manual Harpsichord The members of the Ruckers family of Antwerp dominated harpsichord making North of the Alps for the first 50 years of the 17th century. They produced virginals in a variety of forms and sizes, but their single and double-manual harpsichords were the most prized. By the end of the 17th century their singles, with only a 1x8', 1x4' disposition and a 45-note (four-octave) short- octave keyboard, seemed hopelessly inadequate. But the instruments were far too valuable to discard, so in a process called ravalement, they were rebuilt to give them the more flexible disposition with an enlarged compass.

Soundboard Decoration The Ruckers' double-manual harpsichords were originally made with their keyboards unaligned--the lower manual was a fourth lower than the upper. Later, they underwent ravalement as well, and in the process their keyboards were lined up. Our Flemish instruments have been "enlarged" to four and a half octaves with chromatic bass, giving a compass useful for most of the music written in the baroque. Since these single- and double-manual harpsichords were redecorated in current local fashion after the rebuilding process, a variety of decorative options is available, ranging from the Ruckers marbling to the French gold bands and moldings.


Disposition 2x8', buff or 1x8', 1x4', buff; stop levers in keywell
Range 56+1 notes, GG-d'''; transposable A415/A440
Dimensions app. 82" x 29"
Weight app. 121 lbs.
Action reverse keyboard with ebony naturals, bone-slipped sharps and pearwood arcades; wooden jacks
Wood case in lime or basswood; oak wrestplank; Swiss pine soundboard
Stand turned oak
Standard features:
  • Antique style music wire
  • Soundboard painting
  • Decorative rose in the soundboard
  • Case and interior lid painting in Flemish or another style (simple faux marble, or two colors) using traditional techniques
  • Flemish papers around the inner case and in the keywell
  • Adjustable, folding music desk, regular and continuo lid sticks in waxed, natural oak
  • Dust cover


  • Keyboard with bone naturals and oak sharps, and with arcades in embossed leather
  • Special motifs on the case and other decorative details
  • Staining of the natural woods
  • Other stand
  • Padded cover

Signed D. Jacques Way.

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