Andreas Ruckers Harpsichord sells for £227,520
27th June 2022
In the 17th June 2022 Musical Instrument auction, this fine two-manual harpsichord by Andreas Ruckers, Antwerp, 1614 sold for £227,520 (inclusive of fees), selling to an international client.
The piece has wonderful provenance and was last seen on the auction market back in 2004 when it was sold at Sotheby’s in 2004 for £106,988.
Musical Instrument specialist, Jamie South commented "it has been an absolute privilege to handle such a fine and historical piece and we are absolutely delighted with the result. It really is quite incredible that after a relatively short period of 18 years we were able to secure a sale £120,000 in excess of the 2004 result"
A two-manual harpsichord by Andreas Ruckers, Antwerp, 1614, the mahogany case with boxwood stringing and figured mahogany crossbanding, shaped and engraved brass strap hinges, the fascia board and cheeks with gilt scrollwork on a brown ground, the four and a half octave keyboard AA to e3, with ivory naturals and ebony accidentals, four brass-knobbed handstops controlling two 8-foot stops and one 4-foot stop on the lower manual and one 8-foot and a lute stop on the upper manual, also a foot pedal operating a machine stop, the soundboard painted with flowers, foliage and insects, and with inset rose pierced and carved with King David playing the harp flanked by the maker’s initials AR, blue arabesques around the edges and the bridges, the interior case edges decorated with printed paper, the interior of the lid painted with an extensive landscape with a city on a hill and figures around a carriage in the foreground and a shepherd attending his sheep, on trestle stand. Inscribed on the name baton Andreas Ruckers me fecit Antwerpiæ, length 228.4cm, width 80.5cm, with canvas cover
*Recorded by Grant O’Brien in Ruckers, A Harpsichord and Virginal Building Tradition, pp 257-258
***Also accompanying the lot is correspondence relating to restoration work undertaken on the keyboard by Hug & Co. Basel in 1964
****Provenance - Dr. Blow, Bath; Rev. John Bower, Bath; General Hopkinson, J. Kendrich Pyne and Boddington College, Manchester; Howard Head, London: WC Priestly, Messrs. Angell, Bath; and Leonard Elmhirst, Dartington Hall, Devon. Sold in Sotheby’s rooms on 10 November 2004, lot 267