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Double manual harpsichord
after "Jean Henri Hemsch, 1736"

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Large concert harpsichord. Its range and disposition make it a versatile instrument although, of course, it excels in the French repertoire. The tone on the lower manual is flute-like; the upper manual is gently nasal yet, when both play together, the sound is rich and powerful. These features make it one of the most frequently requested instruments in my production.

The accurate copying of the original has allowed to recreate the sensibility and the quality of the tone of the harpsichords built by Henri Hemsch, well known for the excellence of his works.

Jean Henri Hemsch was born at Castenholz, near Köln in Germany, on 21 February 1700. He emigrated to Paris around 1720 and soon after was admitted to the guild as a master; although a foreigner, he was chosen to be part of the jury of the guild in 1746. In 1767 Henri, who had never married, made a will; after his death, his whole activity was left to his nephew Jean Henri Moers, who had been at the head of the workshop for more than 15 years.

The original harpsichord is kept at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

On request, I can supply soundboard paintings and outer and inner case decorations.


Length cm. 240

Width cm. 90

Compass: FF- e3, 60 notes (or FF- f3, 61 notes)

Two 8' registers, one 4' register, buff stop

Sides of poplar and lime

Soundboard of quarter-sawn spruce

Gilt rose

Ebony naturals

Chromatics of fruitwood with bone caps

Jacks of pear-wood, leathered slides

Lacquered case, one or two colours; gilt bands (varnished)


Louis XVI style stand ("Louis XV" by request)



Clavicembalo da Jean Henri Hemsch 1736

Clavicembalo da Jean Henri Hemsch 1736

Decorazione della tavola armonica di Michela Dal Lago

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Augusto Bonza
Antichi Strumenti a Tastiera
Via Kennedy 9 - 20029 Turbigo (MI) - Italy
Tel/Fax +39 0331899251

Last changed: June 2013

Maker and restorer of harpsichords and other early keyboard instruments. High quality instruments built according to historical principles.
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