Instruments of the Ruckers family were built over a period of approximately 100yrs. From Hans, the founder, to his sons Andreas and Ioannas and their nephew Ioannas Couchet. Throughout this time they maintained a consistency of design and quality that was to have a profound and far reaching influence on many of the makers of northern Europe. In France they were especially prized and makers would often copy the Ruckers harpsichords including name and decorative rose in an effort to satisfy demand for the Flemish product.
Such was the high regard placed on the originals that as musical tastes and requirements changed these instruments were rebuilt in a process known as, "ravalement";. All the essential components were reused in the new instrument including the most valuable part, the soundboard. The main reason for the rebuilding was to increase the compass of the keyboard. The instrument shown here is based on a harpsichord that underwent this process in the early 18th century, the Ioannas Couchet 1645 single manual harpsichord in the Russell Collection in Edinburgh. It has been given a "petit ravalement" making the compass C - c"' and is available with various dispositions. It is decorated with plain colours on the inside and a contrasting colour outside with bands of gold leaf as might have been found on this type of instrument in mid 18th century France.
Images to follow
Specification: Compass: C - c''' Dispositions: 1 x 8, 1 x 4; 2 x 8, 1 x 4; 2 x 8.
Strung with brass and Iron Pitch: a' = 415Hz Dimensions: 1990mm x 650mm x 220mm