"Dutch" Colmar Ruckers Harpsichord

"Dutch" Colmar Ruckers Harpsichord

In creating an overall design for this instrument, I considered the fact that it would been seen on stage as well as in the intimate setting of a private living room. The burgundy and gold ochre color scheme was chosen to read well from a distance, and the scrolling garlands of foliage and flowers offer unexpected details (including a banana slug) when viewed more closely. The flowers depicted are meant to allude to 17th century Dutch still lifes, and the birds and other creatures are native to the Pacific Northwest, where the owner of this instrument lives.

The soundboard is once again a faithful copy of the surviving soundboard painting, executed in period pigments. While painting this soundboard, I was fortunate enough to find a 1624 recipe for green paint which I used for the foliage.

The keywell papers and those surrounding the soundboard are once again printed from my own hand-carved blocks, and are the same as the papers on the original instrument. The ebonized stand was designed by Kevin Fryer, and executed by San Francisco woodworker, Matthias Murer.


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