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Last updated on 9th July 2024.

Welcome to my website.

As well as accepting work myself, you may like to see if there are other harpsichord makers and technicians that I recommend closer to where you live: uk-harpsichord-makers-and-technicians 


Instruments for sale:
Full descriptions below
  • Single Manual Harpsichord after Gregori by Peter Barnes 2023. 
  • English Harpsichord after Kirchmann, John Barnes 1962.
  • Double Manual Italian Harpsichord by Colin Booth 1994. Extensively rebuilt in 2023.
  • Single Manual Flemish Harpsichord by Zuckermann c.1978.
  • Lautenwerk harpsichord by Edwin Russell Bishop 1997.
  • Italian Harpsichord by Colin Booth 2012.
Italian Harpsichord by Colin Booth 2012.

This is what Colin writes about this delightful little harpsichord:
I am reluctantly selling my tiny Italian harpsichord, which is in near-perfect condition. It can be played at my home in Somerset, England. Built in 2012, it is based on early Italian originals like the anonymous 1540 instrument in the Beurmann collection. I wanted to construct an even earlier and even smaller instrument which would be ideal for early 16th century Italian music, but which would also work for much of the later repertoire, like most music by William Byrd. The compass and overall size were therefore reduced: the compass, single-strung in brass, is C/E short octave to a2, and the dimensions including the outer case are only 170cm x 70cm. The inner instrument is only 162cm x 62cm. Ideal pitch has been found to be a = 440, but a=466 and a=415 are also available by retuning. This is a genuine inner-outer harpsichord: the inner instrument of Cedar of Lebanon can be removed, either partially or wholly from the outer poplar case, and a padded bag is supplied to fit the inner harpsichord. If required, this can be transported and used on a table, making it perhaps the most compact and convenient harpsichord to be found, although even in its case this is an unusually small harpsichord. The outer case has a hinged lid, removable front board, and separate two-piece stand. A walnut music desk is included. Particularly attractive features are: Boxwood naturals; sharps inlaid with marquetry; fine mouldings top and bottom; turned bone studs on the upper case-edge and jack-rail; parchment rose. This instrument has been used on a number of my recordings, the most recent being of Italian ricercars, both from the manuscript collection at Castell’ Arquato, and by Frescobaldi and Froberger. The CD (available from my site, www.colinbooth.co.uk) is titled Fogliano to Froberger – A century of Ricercars, SBCD221. Several Youtube videos use this harpsichord, in varied pieces. The tone is brighter than on the Youtube videos. Here are some examples:

Offers in the region of £7,500.
Delin Flemish Single by Peter Barnes, April 2020.
Harpsichord with 2 x 8' stops with buff. GG-f3 transposing 415/440 with full compass in both settings. This harpsichord has an exceptionally sweet sound with plenty of volume, due in part to the fabulously light French Poplar case and generous soundboard area. 

Decorated soundboard in the style of Albertus Delin c.1750 painted by Jennifer Douglas and case papers in the earlier Ruckers style. Ebony natural keyplates and imitation ivory sharp cappings. 

Case is 213cm long, 89cm wide and 27cm deep. The stand is 73cm high.

Finished on 4th April 2020. 

Available to view in my workshop. The asking price is £7,995.00 Reduced to £7,500. Sold.

Played by a visitor to my workshop:

Delin Single Oct2020.mp3

Played by myself:

Delin PB 2020 Back 8'.mp3

Delin PB 2020 Both 8's.mp3

Delin PB 2020 Buff stop.mp3

Italian Virginals made by Colin Booth in 1978.

This finely made instrument has Cedar wood case, lid and music desk and the mouldings are made with a hand held scratch stock in walnut. The compass is BB-e3, giving the possibility of a short octave tuning toGG. It is currently tuned to a=415 and has Malcolm Rose brass and iron strings and black delrin plectra. it is in good playing condition.

Size 176cm long x 54cm from the spine to the front of the keyboard x 21cm deep, on a stand which is 63cm high.

Can be seen in my workshop in Rode, Somerset and offered for sale for £1,500. Sold.

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Five Octave Bentside Spinet by Alexander Temple.

Transposing a=415/440 with GG-g3 compass and brass strings. This spinet has a walnut case and stand (not shown) with ebony sharps and bone natural keyplates. It is in good order, plays well and sounds splendid. 
The size is 180cm long x 70cm from the spine to the treble end of the keyboard x 20cm. The stand is 63cm high.

It can be seen in my workshop and is for sale for £3,250. Reduced to £2995. Sold.

Alex Temple Spinet.mp3

Lautenwerk, professionally made by Edwin Russell Bishop, Ripley, 1997.

C-d3 compass with 1 x 8' strings plucked by two registers of jacks, one with Delrin plectra and the other with leather plectra. Each register can be used separately, or together. This Lautenwerk is currently tuned to a=415 and is strung with Classical Guitar strings. The sound is sweet and full, considerably different from that of a harpsichord even when using the Delrin plectra. A transposing device could be fitted, enabling the keyboard to be transposed to a=415/440, with the loss of the top d in the 440 setting.

The case is veneered in Cherry wood with Boxwood and Ebony decorative banding. The sharps are Ebony and the natural keyplates are made from fruitwood.

This instrument is 130cm long, 80cm wide and 25cm high and sits on three sturdy, removable legs which raise the bottom of the case to 65cm. The instrument is surprisingly light, weighing less than 30kg. 


For sale for £1,995. Reduced to only £1,500!!!! 

Lautenwerk.mp3

Harpsichord made by Colin Booth in 1994 and extensively renovated by Peter Barnes in 2023. 


This Double Manual Italian Harpsichord was made in 1994 with three 8' registers and brass scaling and was based on a historic instrument. Unfortunately it was kept in very dry conditions, resulting in the wrestplank lifting. The harpsichord was then partly dismantled and the compass reduced from GG-e3 to AA-d3 before it came to my workshop. 

I had to replace the wrestplank, the soundboard and a section of the belly rail but was able to retain the original bridge and nut. It is now restrung, has replacement plectra and is very stable and in full playing condition. The specification is now 2 x 8' with buff, AA-d3, transposing with a full compass in a=392, 415, 440 and 468. The sound is full and satisfying!

The harpsichord measures 245cm long, 90cm wide, 28cm deep and has a protective travel cover.

The asking price is £6,995.


Hire this instrument from £325. See hiring-and-tuning.php for further details.

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BoothDouble1994.mp3

Zuckermann Flemish Harpsichord c.1976 renovated in February, 2024.

BB-d3 compass with 1 x 8' and 1 x 4' stops, with buff stop on 8' strings. Strung in iron and brass, this harpsichord can be transposed to a=415 or 440.  Includes stand and music desk. The case measures 196cm long, 81cm wide and 27cm high. The stand is 66cm high. The case is painted blue with guilded mouldings.

This harpsichord has new strings and plectra, and is for sale for £3,500. 

Reduced to £2,995.

Available for long term hire from £300.

Zuckermann Flemish Blue and Gold.mp3

Roger Palmer 1981 Flemish Harpsichord after Ruckers.
2x8' + 4' + Buff Stop
Transposing A=440/415
Re-strung in 2020 in Malcolm Rose wire.

This is a well made harpsichord with traditional wooden jacks and a good, full sound. The split sharps in the bass provide a chromatic compass from C-d3 plus GG, AA and BB bass notes. The baseboard is pine, the case sides and lid are poplar, the soundboard is spruce and the jacks, registers and bridges are made from Maple, or a similar timber. The case measures 225cm long, 90cm wide and 28cm deep.

This harpsichord is now in my workshop and is available to view and play. This harpsichord is in reasonable playing condition and is available 'as seen' for £3,250. 

The replacement strings were fitted in 2020 and some have patches of surface rust from when it has been kept in damp conditions, there are some cracks in the soundboard which could be repaired and the plectra could be replaced if required. The asking price for this harpsichord with all the above work done is £4,500.

Palmer 2x8's (Couperin) - 02_03_2024, 23.56.mp3

Italian Harpsichord after Gregori made by Peter Barnes in 2023.

2 x 8' stops with buff stop. C/E short octave to e3 (without eb3). Transposing keyboard giving 415/440 or 440/465 tunings. This compact and light harpsichord is strung in brass wire and has a cedarwood case, spruce soundboard, boxwood and ebony keyboard and beech jacks, registers, bridges and wrestplank. 

The tone is large and full and the touch responsive and even. This instrument weighs 25kg and is 191cm long, 81cm wide and 24cm high. 

Yet to be painted, so the choice of case colour is yours!

The Summer Sale Price is £6,995. Now Sold.

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Harpsichord after Kirchmann 
by John Barnes 1962.

Built using a scaling based on Kirchmann, this harpsichord is an interesting mixture of traditional soundboard, scaling and bridge dimensions coupled with a sloping case front and pedals for changing the registers. 

Despite non-traditional looks, this harpsichord really does sound like a Kirchmann!

2x 8' with buff and 4' stops. FF-f3 and a keyboard which came from an 1800's Kirchmann piano. Restrung in Malcolm Rose iron and brass wire.

Available for long term hire for £180 per month or to purchase for £3,995.
Italian Harpsichord by William Dow, c.1975. 

2 x 8' stops with C-d3, four octave plus one note compass. Traditional boxwood naturals and bog oak accidentals with box guides and wooden jacks. Has been restrung in brass and phosphor bronze wire and is currently tuned to a=440, but can be tuned to a=415. The plectra have been replaced with white Delrin. The soundboard is made from Cypress wood and there is a fine rose. 

The paintwork shows marks caused by badly sealed knots in the case and lid timber and could benefit from repainting. The harpsichord is 208cm long x 85cm wide x 22cm high. The stand is 66cm high.

Sold.

William Dow Italian.mp3

Clavichord by John Morley number 612 c.1965. 

This early Morley clavichord is unusual in that it has a walnut case and trestle stand also made in walnut. It has all the features of the later clavichords but is in some ways a more desirable instrument. 

The compass is four octaves and a note, C-d3 and it measures 112cm x 40cm x 15cm and is on a stand which is 62cm high. It is currently tuned to a=440 and is available to play in my workshop.

Sold

Morley Clavichordc1965.mp3

Italian Harpsichord by Peter Barnes 2022.


This Single Manual Italian Harpsichord was started at the London College of Furniture by Peter Stephens c.2000. It was at an early stage with the case made and sides prepared for fitting. 

Peter Barnes has now finished the instrument and is is provided with 2 x 8' stops with buff stop and a transposing compass from C-d3 in both a=415 and 440 pitch.

The harpsichord has been strung in brass and bronze and produces a full and rich tone throughout the compass, ideal for solo repertoire and continuo playing. 

The jacks are Pearwood and registers are Beech.


Now Sold. Orders taken. Price in the region of £9,000.


Italian Peter Stephens PB 2022.mp3

This is the same instrument on hire at Exeter Cathedral before it was painted:
Italian Harpsichords after Gregori - now available to order!

These photographs are of the instrument that I have just copied. My copy, with the same compass and disposition is now available for £7,000.
German Double Manual Harpsichord made by Colin Booth in 2020.

This harpsichord has a compass GG-e3 and transposes to a=415/440 pitch.The registration is 2 x 8' with buff and 4' stops. The case is decorated with painted marble, it has a parchment rose and decorative arabesque borders on the soundboard. The harpsichord is complete with turned stand, music desk and traveling cover and is in fine playing condition. 

Here is a description written by the maker, Colin Booth:

This harpsichord was completed in early 2020. It is based on the design of an anonymous 2-manual instrument in the Musical Instrument Museum, Leipzig, no. 74 in Herbert Henkel’s catalogue.

The original is considered to be German, and to have been made around 1700. It is unsigned, and has been internally altered at least once, but the basic design is very convincing, and attracted me to make a harpsichord particularly suited to the classic German repertoire of Bach, Handel, etc.. 

The compass of the original is GG – c3: a typical late 17th century compass. It was only necessary to extend the instrument a little in the treble to increase the keyboard to GG – e3, adding a transposer for use at a = 415 and a = 440. Stringing is in Rose iron and brass. Plectra are black Delrin, which has been shown to have exceptional longevity over my years as a harpsichord maker. The octave register is quilled in white Delrin, for ease of voicing.

The original’s Italianate filigree soundboard rose has been imitated, and additional decoration around the bridges and on the jack rail is in red and gold. The original’s rather odd Italian-style stand (probably from a different instrument) has been replaced by one in a German style. With removable legs and feet, it can be completely dismantled. 

The touch is firm and reassuring, and the tone of this harpsichord is unusually bright and clear. I have found it well-suited to counterpoint, having unusual balance and clarity in all parts of the compass.


The asking price is £17,500. Sold.

The recording to follow below is played not very well by me but I hope it gives an impression of the potential of this instrument: 

CBooth2020.mp3

Italian Harpsichord after Gregori 1726.

Enlarged compass GG-e3 transposing. 2 x 8' stops with buff. This harpsichord was made on commission for a customer in Edinburgh.
Further copies of this instrument, with a choice of compass and decoration are available, made to order, from £9,000. 

Italian PB 2022 GG-e3.mp3


Delin Double Manual Harpsichord by Peter Barnes. 2020.

BB-d3. Transposing a=415/440. 2x8' with buff stop.

Case and lid made from French Poplar, Beech wrestplank, bridges, jacks and registers, Spruce soundboard, solid oak stand which can be reduced to three sections for transport. Case painted red and black with bronze powder bands. A compact double manual harpsichord which is ideal for concert hiring.


Size 212cm long, 82cm wide and 28cm high, on a stand which is 73cm high. 

Now Sold.    Orders taken.

Recording made by a visitor to my workshop 24.10.2020

Delin Double Goldberg Extracts 2020.mp3

English Harpsichord by Peter Barnes 2021.

English Harpsichord jan2022.mp3

This harpsichord was made by Peter Barnes in 2022. It is in the English tradition, based on the c.1713 bentside spinet by Keene and Brackley and the 1709 harpsichord by Thomas Barton. It has traditional wooden jacks, guides and keyboard, a detachable lid and a folding music desk. The case is solid timber and the inside of the case and the nameboard are cedar, with cross-banded capping. 

The harpsichord is strung with Malcolm Rose Iron and brass wire, it has 2x8’ stops with Buff, and a walnut case and stand. The GG - f3 compass transposes A440 / 415 without loss of top or bottom notes. 

The stand detaches from the harpsichord and can be easily packed flat. This harpsichord is 193cm long, 88cm wide and 21cm deep. An ideal instrument to use for hiring.


This harpsichord has been on long term hire and is now sold. A similar instrument may be available for about £8,000.


Good quality Keyboard instruments wanted. 

I am happy to value your instrument for you and suggest how you could sell it if you would like helpful advice.

Further details on: selling-your-harpsichord.php



You can contact me by phone on 01373 831498 or (+44)7733619002, or by email peterbarnes850@btinternet.com or via this page: contact-us-and-instrument-transport-links.php





Peter Barnes          00447733619002                mailto:peterbarnes850@btinternet.com