Harpsichords and Spinets in the 1885 Exhibition in the Albert Hall

Spinet by Edward Blunt, 1704


In 1885, ​the newly-opened Royal Albert Hall was the venue for a Loan Collection display of musical instruments from all over the world.  This formed part of the huge International Inventions Exhibition which occupied a site from the Hall a considerable way towards The River, before the present home of the Royal College of Music was built.  


Amongst the thousands of instruments assembled were sixty-five harpsichords and spinets, probabaly the largest show ever assembled.  From the catalogue of the Loan Collection, compiled by Alfred Hipkins and now held in the British Library, I have made a list of the harpsichords and spinets, and been able to trace most of them to their current locations.  This is in the PDF below.

Harpsichords and Spinets shown at the In[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [571.2 KB]

Pictures of many of these are on various sites accessible via the internet,  but it would have been unrealistic to obtain coyright licence for them.  However, I do have a version of the PDF, as presented at the Friends of Square Pianos Spinet Day in April 2017.  I can send you a copy of this on the understanding that it is for private study only, as permitted under the 'Fair Use' exception to copyright law, and will not be published or circulated more widely.


Please email David on friends.sp@btinternet.com

Spinet N° 1460 by Thomas Hitchcock, 1735


(These two images are my own copyright)

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© David Hackett