Author Topic: Single manual harpsichord sought!  (Read 6785 times)

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Victor Potter

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Single manual harpsichord sought!
« on: December 13, 2011, 09:09:41 PM »
I'm looking for a 'smallish' transportable single manual harpsichord with 8', 4' and buff if possible for the new initiative 'Eastbourne Early Music' and its chamber choir Lux Aeterna, www.luxaeterna.org.uk. I just missed a Feldman on ebay by about 17 whilst conducting a rehearsal......... If anyone knows of one available at reasonable cost, as we have no funding, it would be really helpful. I built a John Storrs harpsichord some years ago and have a woodwork shop, so would  be able to carry out restoration if required So far we have used Yamaha Motif electronics but it's nothing like the real thing and certainly doesn't 'look' right!

David Pinnegar

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Re: Single manual harpsichord sought!
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2011, 10:19:10 PM »
Hi!

I have a Zuckermann that I'd be happy to loan to you.  . . .

Possibly in 18 months or so I might have a De Blaise currently on loan to a son's school. . .

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Victor Potter

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Re: Single manual harpsichord sought!
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 10:24:12 AM »
Thanks David. That could be very helpful. I'll be in touch.

Best wishes.

Victor

David Pinnegar

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Re: Single manual harpsichord sought!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2011, 09:41:44 PM »
Hi!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/William-Blaise-Harpsichord-Walnut-case-1967-/190621779946 looks useful.

They aren't the most aesthetic instruments but are good workhorses.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Victor Potter

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Re: Single manual harpsichord sought!
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2011, 02:37:00 PM »
Thanks for posting this David. It's regrettably starting at a bit outside my price range, and, of course, is quite a 'modern' instrument but it looks in good condition from the photograph.....

Happy New Year

Victor

Victor Potter

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Re: Single manual harpsichord sought!
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 10:33:06 PM »
This has all turned out rather well as a very generous donor has donated a John Feldberg double manual harpsichord (8',8',4', buff and two piano stops for the 8's) for use with my early music group. It needs a bit of work presently successfully under way in my workshop. Also I am about to complete the full restoration of a Philip Lancashire virginal (1970 vintage reproduction) including refurbishing the wooden parts and jacks and fitting new iron and yellow brass strings and plectra. A c. 1821 Thomas Tompkison square piano, presently somewhat of a wreck, is also on the stocks for restoration with authentic replacement parts now sourced and obtained.  It will be started as the virginal and harpsichord are completed. It's very therapeutic stuff amidst other hectic musical activities.

David Pinnegar

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Re: Single manual harpsichord sought!
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 01:35:25 AM »
Dear Victor

What fantastic news!

What have you got to do with the Feldberg? It sounds rather similar to a Clayson and Garrett at one of my sons' school which had not been in use for three decades and which I got into playing order for them. I videoed the work at each stage and put it onto YouTube which might be of interest.

There were one or two aspects that I made very obvious and did not bother to try to hide: as a restoration philosophy work that has been necessary is part of the history of an object and it can be argued that objects should be allowed to be able to tell their own storey.

Tompkison or Tomkison? I have an 1801 which I bought as a boy rather ambitiously and on which I repaired the soundboard and frame and which needs restringing and repairs to the leather hinges of the hammers . . . and a very simple set of dampers . . . but these jobs always seemed beyond my expertise.

If you do such things, there are two other Broadwood squares that await loving attention to make playable - but of course these things are uneconomic to pay to have done on a commercial rate or scale but I'd be very welcome to make a donation for whatever you might be able to do . . .

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Victor Potter

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Re: Single manual harpsichord sought!
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 06:40:04 PM »
Thanks for this David. Yes I have spelt Tomkison wrongly - more haste less speed! I did consult your videos regarding the Clayson and Garrett which were extremely helpful. In fact there was a somewhat similar repair to execute to the hitch pin rails together with a crack and some warping in the soundboard which went back into place once the hitch pin rails were dealt with and has been very successfully reglued after taking time to manufacture an accurate jig to hold it in place during the drying process-in fact the former crack is  now unnoticeable and has not re-appeared (so far) as the strings are brought back into tune and the instrument is now suitably resonant. It was possible to do all this without removing strings, merely loosening them and moving them aside as you did but I did spend some time contemplating and preparing for the project first which was worth it.
I'm now doing tuning and regulation but will then repolish the case as far as is necessary and bring the instrument into use. I have to say that I have been very excited and inspired with this project, particularly as the instrument is well engineered and worth the effort.

I have obtained hinge leather for square pianos from Lucy Coad who also sells vellum for the dampers. Its possible to get vegetable tanned goatskin which is hard enough to recover the hammers from Russell's Leather. You will know that Malcolm Rose at Lewes sells authentic iron and brass strings. not the covered strings though, which seem rather expensive.The daunting bit is removing the old hinge leather without taking too much wood away so that the new leather will glue firmly in place of the old with animal glue. I am researching the availability of very narrow fretsaw blades for this. You may know there is a web site Friends of Square Pianos www.friendsofsquarepianos.co.uk/ which I have joined which is very helpful. They are trying to record all extant Tomkison pianos and would be very interested in yours. They dated mine almost instantly and gave some interesting possible provenance for it. They have a link which gives a source of supply for early instrument cloth (like felt) which is a very useful product.

Apart from somewhat extensive musical actrivities I also repair and restore antique wooden furniture which is a good starting point for all this, but like everybody else money is short at the moment so I would not be able to do much on a pro bono basis unless times improve. I'd be happy to have a look though, and comment at some stage if that would be helpful.

Best wishes.

Victor

Victor Potter

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Re: Single manual harpsichord sought!
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2012, 07:21:27 PM »
If anyone has a cover which would fit a John Feldberg double harpsichord 1964 with a length of 6' which they would like to dispose of then I would be interested in acquiring it.

David Pinnegar

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Re: Single manual harpsichord sought!
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2012, 11:32:08 PM »
Dear Victor

Perhaps it might be possible to make something out of wardrobe doors and sides?

With your furniture making skills, perhaps there might be mileage in doing finishing work on the Lowther TP1A speakers I'm planning on constructing in the Autumn .  .  . Provided we can find reliable shipping to South Korea and Japan, there might well be significant profit which could fund your harpsichord hobbies . . .

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Victor Potter

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Re: Single manual harpsichord sought!
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2012, 09:34:27 AM »
Thanks David. Yes, certainly. Get in touch when you're ready and I could pop over and have a look. Harpsichord cover sorted yesterday, subject to modification by my friendly upholsterer opposite! Best wishes.

Victor

 


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