Welcome to my Website. Last updated on 22nd February 2021.

In solidarity with the NHS, my workshop is not open to visitors, but I am still able do 'Click and Collect' and make some limited deliveries. In the meanwhile, I shall be making instruments for you to visit when it is safe to do so.

Humidity Alert! With the current dry, cold weather, now is the time to check your humidity levels.
Humidity Below 50% will cause timber to shrink excessively and eventually cause structural damage. Remedies include isolating your harpsichord in a cool room with well sealed door and windows, steam ironing, damp towels on radiators, etc.
Humidity above 65% should also be avoided. Iron starts to rust at about 70%.
One of these gauges costs less than £5 on Ebay. Get one now! 
New Instruments available:

Delin Double Manual Harpsichord by Peter Barnes BB-d3 compass, transposing. October 2020.
Baroque Double Bass by Peter Barnes 2017. (See Double Bass page)

Used instruments for sale:

Single Manual Harpsichord by Andrew Garlick c.1980
Robert Deegan Double Manual Harpsichord, 1998. Under offer.
Spinet by Alex Hodsdon, 1956. On hire.
John Storrs Flemish Double. GG-e3. 
John Storrs bentside spinet. G-f3. Reserved.
John Storrs Clavichord C-e3.
Zuckermann Flemish single manual FF-f3, 2x8' with buff and 4'.
Zuckermann/Paris Workshop Virginals.
Baldwin Electric Harpsichord c.1969
Square Piano made by Zumpe, London 1795.
Square Piano by Broadwood 1815.

Coming soon: New Italian Harpsichord, copy of Gregori, Peter Barnes 2021.

Instruments available to commission:

Harpsichords after Gregori, Ruckers, Delin or Thomas Barton. Choice of Single or Double Manuals. 
Choice of compass and decoration. Specify exactly the instrument that you require! Prices from £8,000.

Just finished - 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. 

£10,850.    Reduced to £9,995 on 23.1.2021                  

Recording made by a visitor to my workshop 24.10.2020

Delin Double Goldberg Extracts 2020.mp3

Italian Harpsichord by Colin Booth 2018

Brand new harpsichord which has become available again due to bereavement. 

GG-d3 compass transposing 395/415/440 or 415/440/465. 2 x 8' stops.
Case made in Cedarwood, decorated with red marbled paintwork. Complete with black stand with turned legs which take apart for ease of transport. 
Parchment rose, wooden jacks and an oak music desk.

A fine and magnificent instrument available now, reduced from £11,000 to £7,995. Just Sold!
Robert Deegan Double Manual Harpsichord, 1998

Transposing compass FF-f3, Poplar case, handsome stand, gold bands and a fine soundboard painting after Taskin by Sheila Barnes. This harpsichord is in good working order and can be seen just north of Manchester. The asking price is £9,950.
Andrew Garlic Single Manual Harpsichord c.1980.

Compass FF-f3 with 2 x 8' stops.

This instrument was renovated by Martin Robinson at the Early Keyboard Agency in 2003. I haven't visited this harpsichord yet, but I am happy to work on it when it is safe to do so. It may need replacement plectra and revoicing, at a cost of £600. All the strings could also be replaced at a further cost of £600 if required. 

This harpsichord can be seen in the Midlands, central England and offers are invited in the region of £7,000.
Zuckermann Flemish Single Manual five octave Harpsichord.

Fine Zuckermann Harpsichord made by Morton Gould with traditional soundboard decoration by Sheila Barnes. Renovated with new strings and new plectra by Peter Barnes in 2017.

2 x 8' with buff and 4' stops. GG-g3 five octave compass at a=415, can be transposed to a=440 with loss of the top key, as can be seen in the photographs.

Can be seen in Glasgow.
The asking price is £4,850

Click images below for more details.(Sorry about the orientation of some of these photos!) 

Single Manual Flemish Harpsichord by Colin Booth made in 1984.

FF-d3, transposing with full compass in each transposition. 2 x 8' stops with buff. Wooden jacks and registers, voiced in black Delrin and in good playing condition. Black decoration with decorative brass hinges and mouldings picked out in gold leaf. The paintwork is in good condition with only a few minor blemishes.

This harpsichord is 219cm long, 86cm wide and 24cm high and it  sits on an apron stand with removable, turned legs. The stand is 64cm high.

This harpsichord can be seen in my workshop and is available for £5,850. Sold subject to being able to deliver to Poland.
Listen to this recording made by a recent visitor to my workshop!

Colin Booth Single oct2020.mp3

Italian Harpsichord after Gregori - coming soon!

Case, lid and stand made in Cedar of Lebanon.

English Harpsichord after Thomas Barton by Peter Barnes 2019.

Recording made by a recent visitor to my workshop:

English Harpsichord oct2020.mp3

This harpsichord, made by Peter Barnes in 2019, is in the English tradition and is based on the c.1715 bentside spinet by Keene and Brackley and the 1709 harpsichord by Thomas Barton. It has traditional wooden jacks, guides and keyboard, a detachable lid with solid decorative brass-work and a folding music desk. The inside of the case and the nameboard are made from Cedar wood, with cross-banded walnut capping. 

The harpsichord is strung with Malcolm Rose Iron and brass wire, it has 2x8’ stops 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 taken apart for transport. This harpsichord is 193cm long, 88cm wide and 21cm deep. It has a soundboard painting by Jennifer Douglas which is closely based on the Coston Harpsichord from the Edinburgh University Collection.

This harpsichord is about to come back from an 11 month home hiring and is now available for £8,900.

Sold, but commissions undertaken. (For example, you could order a similar instrument without the soundboard painting for £7,900.)

Played by myself:

English Harpsichord 2019.mp3

Zuckermann/Paris Workshop Italian Virginals.

Late version of this popular instrument with solid Poplar case and removable lid.

This instrument has an extended compass GG-d3 and wooden jacks and registers. A light, responsive instrument with a full sound.

For sale in conjunction with the Early Music Shop. 

Serviced with many new plectra and in good playing order. 

The asking price is £3,450.
John Storrs Double Manual Flemish Harpsichord. 

Made in 1984 for the City of London Freemen's School by the woodwork master, this harpsichord has 2 x 8', 1 x 4' with buff stop. The GG-e3 compass can be tuned to either a=440 or 415.
The case, lid, music desk and stand are made of solid Poplar. A compact and reasonably light double measuring 218cm long, 85cm wide and 25cm deep. 

This harpsichord is now strung with new Iron and brass wire. It has fully serviced keyboards and jacks, and has been revoiced with new Delrin plectra.

Available in full playing condition for £5,500. Reduced to £5,000 if collected in person.

Sound recording. Sorry about my playing!


Clavichord by John Storrs.

Un-fretted Clavichord with 4 1/4 octave, C-e3 compass. Double strung throughout with new brass wire. The action has been reworked and adjusted by Peter Barnes, Nov 2019. Light and portable and in full playing order complete with stand. 
Size: 120cm long, 44cm deep and 13cm high. The weight is 20kg plus 3kg for the stand.

£1,350. Sold 25.1.2021


Bentside Spinet by John Storrs, c.1980.

This spinet has an FF-f3, five octave compass and is strung in iron and brass wire. It can be transposed to a=415 or 440. (Loosing bottom FF in 415 transposition)
The case and stand are in good condition and are made from solid poplar, making the instrument very light to carry about. 
The stand is screwed to the case and can be taken apart into three, flat sections for transport.

The spinet is 174cm long, 66cm wide at the widest point, (the back to the treble end of the keyboard,) and 17cm high. The stand is 65cm high. The weight is 22kg plus 3kg for the stand.

The sound file is from a similar instrument. The instrument is painted with a green exterior and red inside the lid.

This spinet has replacement strings, reworked jacks and new plectra. This instrument is now in good playing condition. 

Currently on hire for six months, after which, it is for sale for £1,900. Now reserved for sale after the hiring.


Square Piano 1795 by Zumpe, London.

Unrestored. Available to view in Tarbet, Scotland. 

Offers in the region of £1,500.
Baldwin Electric Harpsichord c.1969

A rare opportunity to own a sixties classic. The instrument has been preserved in its original state, including the perspex top and music desk, formica red soundboard and original plastic harpsichord jacks. The legs are original but have had blocks cut into where the bolts meet the aluminium case. This was done to make them more stable.

This harpsichord is easy to tune and maintain. This particular instrument has been used by Abbey Road Studio for The Beach Boys album with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It has also been used by several sampling companies.

The harpsichord is in good working order, and would make a fine addition for any rock keyboard player. Probably not one for the early music connoisseurs!!

Can be seen in Colchester. £4,750 ono.

Reduced to £3995 on 22.1.2021.

Here is a video of this wonderful Harpsichord:

Clavichord by Marc Ducournet, Paris.

Five octave compass GG-f3, Ebony naturals with fruitwood sharps capped in Ivory. Case and lid veneered in Cherry with a solid cherry stand. Based on Gerlach, this clavichord is unfretted and has two, brass strings per note.

The gold lettering gives the date 1967 in roman numerals, as does the lid, but there is the signature of Marc Ducornet on the bottom key, giving 1977 as the date. The bushing of the keys would suggest the earlier date, but the oblong tuning pins suggest 1976. The instrument owes much to Marc Ducornet's collaboration with Zuckermann Harpsichords in the USA.

A good instrument in playable condition, but in need of restringing.

Price as seen £1,200, or restrung for £1,600. Now Sold.



Leigh Flanders Virginals c.1985.
Transposing keyboard, GG-d3 shower proof cover, turned stand that is easy to dismantle. Re-strung in brass and iron wire and in good playing condition £1,800. Sold, and appearing shortly in a TV drama! 
Size: 185cm long x 58cm wide x 27cm high, on a stand which is 64cm high.



Harpsichord after Thomas Barton, possibly by Michael Thomas, c.1965.

This usefully small harpsichord has a C-d3 compass and 2 x 8' stops. The wooden jacks and registers are made in Beech. The Keyboard has ebony naturals and sharps capped with bone. The case is veneered in Walnut with a turned Walnut stand. It is in good structural order, but not in playing condition. This harpsichord is only 184cm long, 80cm wide and 25cm high. The cheek measures 51cm and the stand, which takes apart, is 62cm high.

This harpsichord is undergoing renovation including a new music stand and lid stick. It has now been restrung in Brass wire, making it suitable for tuning at a = 440 / 415. New plectra and voicing, bringing the total for this pretty, fully working harpsichord to £3,600. Sold.

Wonderful, Five-Octave Clavichord after Hass by Goble 1998.

Double strung, unfretted clavichord with walnut veneer, gold leaf Latin text, marquetry panel, Ivory decoration and matching stool.

Can be seen in my showroom.

This beautiful clavichord is in fantastic condition and is offered for sale for only £5000. Now Sold.
Bentside Spinet by Alex Hodsdon 1956.

This spinet has an C-e3, 4 1/4 octave compass and was restrung in Malcolm Rose iron and brass wire in 2015. It cam be tuned to a=415 or 440.
The case, music desk and stand are in good condition and are veneered in Walnut and Satinwood.
The solid Walnut stand can be taken apart into three, flat sections for transport.

The spinet is 175cm long, 62cm wide at the widest point, (the back to the treble end of the keyboard,) and 19cm high. The stand is 65cm high. The weight is 25kg plus 5kg for the stand.

In good playing condition. £1,800. Currently on hire until Jan 2021.

Broadwood square piano c.1815. 
Restored by Edmond Handy c. 2000, currently under repair after failure of original glue joint at treble end of case.
This piano has had an excellent restoration and has new hammer coverings and stringing. It was in very good playing condition until the recent structural failure of the baseboard and case joint. It is hoped that this can be satisfactorily repaired without rebuilding the soundboard end of the instrument. Price after repairs £1,500. 
Available as seen £800. Now sold, but a similar instrument without structural problems will be available soon. Please enquire.

Good quality Keyboard instruments wanted. 

I am happy to buy your instrument from you, or sell it on commission.

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

Instruments sold since July 2020:

Klop Spinet.mp3

Bentside Spinet by Klop. 

Rosewood naturals and bone sharp cappings. 
BB-f3 compass.
Can be tuned to a=440 or 415.
Split buff stops for treble and bass. 
Removable lid and stand which packs flat. 
Size c. 145cm long, 61cm wide and 19cm deep, on a stand which is 61cm high.
This spinet has replacement wooden tongues and Delrin plectra. It has been revoiced and plays nicely, with a bold sound.

This spinet is offered in conjunction with 'The Early Music Shop' for an asking price of £3,495. Sold


Cembalino - small Italian harpsichord - made from Early Music Shop kit c.1990.

This instrument comes complete with folding stand, music desk, custom made lid and hard flight case. It has been extensively used for public performances and is in good playing and decorative order, (although the choice of yellow for the lid may not be to everyone's taste!)
The case sides, wrestplank, music desk and stand are made of solid Sycamore. The soundboard is Spruce and the jacks are Beech. 
The instrument has C/E short octave to c3 compass and can be tuned to a=415 or 440. 
The instrument measures 141cm long, 69cm wide and 17cm high and weighs 15kg, The flight case is 150cm long, 75cm wide and 19cm deep and has a sturdy carrying handle on the angled side. The case weighs 12kg. The total weight including stand and lid is 35kg.

Available until 31st November 2020 for only £1,200.
Sold within three days.

Chembalino 10.10.20.mp3

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. 

The asking price is £8,900. 

Now sold, but you could commission a similar instrument without the soundboard decoration for £8,100.

Played by a visitor to my workshop:

Delin Single Oct2020.mp3

Played less well by myself:

Delin PB 2020 Back 8'.mp3

Delin PB 2020 Both 8's.mp3

Delin PB 2020 Buff stop.mp3

Small spinet by Christopher Barlow made to his own design.
Three pitch transposition, 396/415/440 with full C to f3 compass in all transpositions. This spinet has plastic jacks by Bolton and Brass and Iron strings. There is a stand which packs flat.
Size: 122cm long, 64cm wide and 20cm high. The stand is 64cm high. Weight c. 20kg.
Available now for £1,500. Sold



Amazing 1958 Dolmetsch Double. 9-foot long with 16-foot, 8-foot and 4 foot stops!

Available as seen, complete with lid, stand and music desk for only £800.

This harpsichord requires at the minimum, the following work: 
Replacement plectra for 4' and both sets of 8' jacks. £900.
Replacement set of jacks and plectra for the missing 16' jacks £1,300.
This work would bring the total cost to £3,000 and provide an instrument that is in good playing order. Now Sold.
Single Manual Flemish Harpsichord after Ruckers 1637.  
Made by Michael Johnson 2016. R33

This instrument is closely based on the scaling and plucking points taken from the 1637 Andreas Ruckers in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, (Inv. No. MIR 1073).
That instrument was used because it is one of the few Ruckers harpsichords that survive almost unaltered.
However the compass has been extended from the original C/E-c3 to GG-d3 chromatic. In order to keep as close as possible to original case dimensions a narrower octave span of 161mm has been used, similar to that of the French makers Taskin and Blanchet.
This instrument has a second rank of 8ft jacks plucking the single 8ft choir plucking to the left and set behind the 4ft choir. That gives the facility to work the same string together with the front 8ft jacks which work in the Ruckers direction. It also enables the 8ft choir to be used solo but plucked in two plucking points in the speaking length.
Keyboard shafts are made from poplar and the naturals are covered with casein ivory; the accidentals are made from ebony.
Beech has been used for the jack blanks and traditional holly for the tongues with peek escapement springs in preference to hog bristle.
The instrument is voiced with acetyl plectra and is strung to work at A415.
It has been strung with Historic Music Wire (p-wire) and with Stephen Birkett brass and red-brass for the bass strings.
The keyboard will transpose in both directions to give A392 and A440, however there is a loss of the endnote in whichever direction the keyboards have been transposed.
The fumed oak apron stand will collapse for more ease of transport.
Dismantled it breaks down to a top apron, a lower leg support frame and six legs.
There is also the matching stool.
The music desk and prop stick are both separate parts and are also made from fumed English oak.
The instrument has a fitted transport cover, tuning key and spare strings, plectra and service kit.

Price: £16,450.00.    No VAT required.

Sold on 3.7.2020

For a music video of this harpsichord see:
Colin Booth Italian Double Manual Harpsichord after Migliai 2008.

Italian harpsichord with 2 x 8' on lower manual and 4' on upper manual. This disposition is traditional and derives from the practice of placing an octave instrument on a larger, 8' pitch harpsichord. These instruments sometimes had coupling devices, and there is a coupler on this instrument in the form of a dogleg on the 4' jacks and a sliding lower manual. There are stop levers for both 8' stops.

The compass is GG/BB short octave to c3 and transposes a=415, 440 and 465.

The bridges and nut are Walnut,the jacks and registers are wooden with a Spruce soundboard in a  Cedar case which measures 226cm long, 81cm wide and 26cm high. The cheek is 59cm long.

The red, painted stand is 228cm long, 83cm wide and  64cm high and has seven turned legs and feet, which can we separated for packing flat. 

This instrument is in showroom condition and has had very little use. The asking price is £16,400. Now Sold.

Harpsichord after Migliai by Colin Booth 2008.

This is what Colin Booth says about this harpsichord:

Two decades ago, while on a visit to the Germanisches National Museum in Nuremberg, I fell for the 2-manual Italian harpsichord in their collection. At the time the maker was unknown, but Denzil Wraight has since found evidence that it is by the leading 17th century Italian maker Migliai.

This original harpsichord is a light-weight ‘inner’ instrument, housed in an outer case. It has the normal small compass of only C/E short octave to c3, but demonstrates the common interest through Europe in the later 17th century, of either placing a small instrument on top of a large one at normal pitch, or actually building the octave facility into the instrument, using a second keyboard.

This tradition died out after 1700, but even without the presence of a manual coupler, it gives the player a far more interesting variety of timbre than one might expect: it can be found in Italy, France, and in the Netherlands, where the ‘mother and child’ virginal was quite common.

Italian harpsichords had from the start been at the heart of my harpsichord-making, and I quickly decided to build a close copy of the Nuremberg instrument. I incorporated a coupler, and the resulting varieties of tone were even more startling. These are exploited on two CDs:

Frescobaldi- keyboard music SBCD201, and Peter Philips, the English Exile SBCD992.

The sonority was deep and majestic when more than one register was employed, and beautiful and intimate on solo stops. The unique elegance of the instrument was itself highly satisfying.

In 2008, following the sale of the copy, I produced an enlarged version. The compass was extended to the common later 17th century GG/BB short octave to c3, and the keyboards transposed to give A415 / A440 / and A466. (If preferred, the pitch can be lowered by a semitone, to offer A392 instead of the high pitch A466). A lightweight lid system proved adequate as protection, and a full dismantleable table stand seemed justified by the splendid character of this instrument. The nobiliity of tone which was a feature of the copy, was more than equalled in this larger version.

I have recently ended my harpsichord-making, and no longer have a spacious workshop in which to house instruments which are not in immediate use. Hence the need to reluctantly part with what was part of my ‘core collection’. The harpsichord has only rarely been used for concerts, and is in almost entirely perfect and unmarked condition. It is mature, but plectra and strings are almost new.