Original English Spinet c. 1770

It is rare to have the opportunity to purchase an original English spinet.  This one was lot 290 at Clevedon Salerooms (Bristol) on June 13th.  

It is evidently of the style where most of the nameboard is fixed, and the name carried on a narrow batten which can be removed to withdraw the keyboard.  It is rare to see a spinet without a prominent name, and it seems likely that the batten on this one is a replacement, especially as it is completely plain; the decoration usually matches the main board.   So we cannot at present attribute it to a particular maker, but the mahogany construction and the generous size (6' 4" long) suggest a relatively late date for an English spinet.  

The plain stand is certainly old, and could be original.

The interior and jackrail are attractively veneered in 'fiddle-back' sycamore, to echo the style of the nameboard.

The back-pinning right up to the top is unusual. 

The wooden jacks seem to be in good conditon, and could be original.

Nice ivories.  Could the herring-bone stringing on the end-block be a clue to the maker?


The estimate for this rare and interesting spinet was £1,20o - £1,800; I thought it might achieve more, and after lively bidding the hammer fell at £7,000 (£8,848 total).


Pictures by and by courtesy of Clevedon Salerooms    www.clevedonsalerooms.com

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© David Hackett