Feldberg-Whale Harpsichord 1975                              Sold

John Feldberg Harpsichords and Clavichords was started, in 1957 in Sevenoaks Kent, by John Feldberg who was then just twenty seven years old. Following his untimely death in 1960, the workshop was continued by his widow Ann Feldberg and master craftsmen Peter Whale and grew to employ a roster of outstanding and dedicated harpsichord makers including, at various times, Malcom Fisk, Derek Adlam, Christopher Jones, Malcom Rose, Ken Haydn, Hugh Craig, Tim Constable, and Nick Martin.

With their help, the workshop flourished for over 20 years, making harpsichords, clavichords, spinets, virginals and even a muselaar. From the 1970s onwards most, if not all, John Feldberg instruments were meticulously researched copies of original instruments, using as near as possible, similar materials.

Before it closed in 1980, the workshop produced 272 instruments which were sold to customers all over the world and played by musicians from Raymond Leppard to George Malcolm, Kenneth Gilbert, Trevor Pinnock, Peter Hurford, Christopher Hogwood, and Jane Clarke (Dodgson). Instruments were also hired out to numerous  venues and orchestras;  amongst them Glyndebourne, the  Royal Festival Hall, the Wigmore Hall, the BBC, Dartington Music Summer School  - and the Abbey Road recording studios.


The instrument now offered for sale is one of the copies of the Goujon harpsichord in the Musée de la Musique in Paris. It has not been in use for some time, and does need a little attention, but no problems are apparent.  

We have confirmation from one of the craftsmen who worked there that The Feldberg workshop was an early adopter of synthetic material for keys, and we are as certain as we can be that these sharp-tops are not ivory.

It has been stored in somewhat cramped conditions for some time, hence it does need to be cleaned, and there are some minor scuffs to the paintwork.

There is the traditional minor split at the extreme treble of the soundboard!  

Registers are the usual 2 x 8' + 4'

Soundboard, bridge, and hitchrails look good.

With just a little work, this surely has the potential to be a very fine harpsichord.  




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© David Hackett