A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Ruckers

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RUCKERS, clavecin makers of Antwerp, who were working as masters between 1579 and 1667 or later, the first of whom, Hans Ruckers, is always credited with great improvements in keyboard instruments. It is certain that the tone of the Ruckers clavecins has never been surpassed for purity and beauty of tone-colour (timbre); and from this quality they remained in use in England, as well as in France and the Netherlands, until harpsichords and spinets were superseded, at the end of last century, by the pianoforte. The art of harpsichord making, as exemplified in London by Kirkman and Shudi, was directly derived from Antwerp and the Ruckers. Time seemed to have no effect with the Ruckers instruments. They were decorated with costly paintings in this country and France, when a hundred years old and more. New keys and new jacks replaced the old ones; so long as the soundboard stood lasted the 'silvery sweet' tone. It has done so in some instances until now, but modern conditions of life seem to be inimical to the old wood; it will be difficult, if not impossible, to preserve any of these old instruments much longer. As a work of piety we have catalogued all that we have seen or can hear of, appending the list to this notice.

In John Broadwood's books, 1772–3, are several entries concerning the hiring of Ruker, Rooker, and Rouker harpsichords to his customers; to the Duchess of Richmond, Lady Pembroke, Lady Catherine Murray, etc., etc. In 1790 Lord Camden bought a 'double Ruker': in 1792 Mr. Williams bought another, the price charged for each being 25 guineas. These entries corroborate the statement of James Broadwood ('Some Notes,' 1838, printed privately 1862) that many Ruckers harpsichords were extant and in excellent condition fifty years before he wrote. He specially refers to one that was twenty years before in possession of Mr. Preston, the publisher, reputed to have been Queen Elizabeth's, and sold when Nonsuch Palace was demolished. To have been hers Hans Ruckers the elder must be credited with having made it.

If the tone caused, as we have said, the long preservation of the Ruckers clavecins, on the other hand the paintings which adorned them not unfrequently caused their destruction. A case in point is the instrument of the Parisian organist, Balbastre, whom Burney visited when on his famous tour. Burney says it was painted inside and out with as much delicacy as the finest coach or snuffbox he had ever seen. Inside the cover was the story of Rameau's 'Castor and Pollux,' the composer, whom Burney had seen some years before, being depicted lyre in hand and very like. He describes the tone as delicate rather than powerful (he would be accustomed in London to the sonorous pompous Kirkmans, which he so much admired), and the touch, in accordance with the French practice of quilling, as very light. This instrument was then more than a hundred years old, perhaps more than a hundred and fifty. We learn the fate of it from Rimbault ('The Pianoforte,' 1860, p. 76), who tells us that it became the property of Mr. Goding of London, who sacrificed Ruckers' work, to display the paintings by Boucher and Le Prince that had adorned it, on a new grand piano made for the purpose by Zeitter. This maker showed respect for his predecessor by preserving the soundboard, which he converted into a music box, the inscription 'Joannes Ruckers me fecit Antverpiæ' being transferred to the back. This box ultimately became Rimbault's; the piano was sold at Goding's sale by Christie & Manson in 1857. [App. p.766 "This Hans Ruckers harpsichord transformed into a grand pianoforte appeared again at the sale of Lord Lonsdale's furniture in June 1887, when it realised £700. Burney's description of Rameau's portrait inside the lid should be amended. The composer does not hold a lyre, and is being crowned with a wreath. The expressive character shown in the portrait should vouch for the resemblance to the composer even if Burney had not said that it was very like. On the front board above the keys is inscribed a complete piece of clavecin music, 'Pastorale par Mr. Balbastre, le 6 Aoust, 1767,' beginning—

\relative e'' { \key a \minor \time 6/8 \partial 4.
  e4 d8 | c\mordent b a gis b d | c4\mordent b8 e4 d8 | c\mordent b a e gis b | a4 s8_"etc." }

The stand for this instrument is rococo, and gilt. In the same house (Carlton House Terrace), and sold by auction at the same time for £290, was an Andries Ruckers harpsichord that had also been made into a pianoforte by Zeitter. In this instrument the original belly, dated 1628, was preserved. The soundhole contained the rose (No. 6) of this maker. The present compass of the piano is five octaves F—F. Inside the top is a landscape with figures, and outside, figures with musical instruments on a gold ground. Round the case on gold are dogs and birds, a serpent and birds, etc. All this decoration is 18th century work. The instrument is on a Louis Quinze gilt stand. It will be seen that these two harpsichords have undergone remarkable changes at intervals of more than one hundred years. They will be numbered 67 and 68 in the list of extant Ruckers clavecins, which completes all that is at present known to the writer concerning the existing instruments of that family."]

It was this intimate combination of the decorative arts with music that led to the clavecin and clavichord makers of Antwerp becoming members of the artists' guild of St. Luke in that city. They were enrolled in the first instance as painters or sculptors. We must however go farther back than Hans Ruckers and his sons to truly estimate their position and services as clavecin makers. For this retrospect the pamphlet of the Chevalier Léon de Burbure—'Recherches sur les Facteurs de Clavecins et les Luthiers d'Anvers' (Brussels, 1863), supplies valuable information. We learn that at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries, precisely as in England and Scotland at the same period, the clavichord was in greater vogue than the clavecin; possibly because clavecins were then always long [App. p.777 "for always long read long, or it may have been trapeze-shaped. It must be remembered that the names Clavicordio in Spain, Clavicordo in Italy, and Clavicorde in France, have been always applied to the quilled instruments. We are not therefore sure whether old references to the clavichord are to be taken as describing a plectrum or a tangent keyboard instrument"], and the oblong clavichord recommended itself as more convenient and cheap for ordinary use; just as is now the case with grand and upright pianos. But about the year 1500 the clavecin had been made in the clavichord shape in Venice, and called Spinet. [See Spinet.] This new form must have soon travelled to the Low Countries, and have superseded the Clavichord, as it did in England and France about the same epoch.

A clavecin maker named Josse Carest was admitted in 1523 to the St. Luke's guild as a sculptor and painter of clavichords (literally 'Joos Kerrest, clavecordmaker, snyt en scildert').[1] Another Carest had been accepted in 1519 as an apprentice painter of clavecins ('Goosen Kareest, schilder en Klavecimbelmaker, gheleert by Peeter Mathys'). This is an earlier instance of the name Clavecin than that quoted by M. de Burbure as the oldest he had found in Belgium, viz. a house in the parish of Notre Dame, Antwerp, which, in 1532, bore the sign of 'de Clavizimbele.' No doubt at that time both clavecins and clavichords were in use in Antwerp, but in a few years we hear of the latter no more; and the clavecin soon became so important that, in 1557, Josse Carest headed a petition of the clavecin-makers to be admitted to the privileges of the guild as such, and not, in a side way, merely as painters and sculptors of their instruments. Their prayer was granted, and the ten petitioners were exempted from the production of 'masterworks,' but their pupils and all who were to come after them[2] were bound to exhibit masterworks, being clavecins, oblong or with bent sides ('viercante oft gehoecte clavisimbale,' square or grand as we should say), of five feet long or more; made in the workshops of master experts, of whom two were annually elected; and to have the mark, design, or scutcheon, proper to each maker (syn eygen marck, teecken, oft wapene), that is, a recognised trade-mark on each instrument. We will give these trade marks of the members of the Ruckers family from sketches kindly supplied by M. Abel Regibo, of Renaix in Belgium; three, belonging to Hans and his two sons, having been already published by M. Edmond Vander Straeten in his monumental work 'La Musique aux Pays Bas,' vol. iii. (Brussels, 1875).[3] It is at once evident that such regulations tended to sound work. The trade-marks we have more particularly described under Rose. They were usually made of lead, gilt, and were conspicuous in the soundholes of the instruments.

Some of the cotemporary Italian keyboardinstruments might be taken to give a general idea of what the Antwerp ones were like prior to the improvements of Hans Ruckers the elder. [App. p.777 "It is doubtful what changes of construction Hans Ruckers made in the harpsichord—perhaps the octave strings only. Yet a clavicembalo by Domenico di Pesaro, dated 1590, lately acquired by South Kensington Museum, has the octave strings with two stops. His great service may after all have only been to improve what others had previously introduced. It is nearly certain that harpsichords with double keyboards and stops for different registers existed before Hans Ruckers' time, and their introduction may be attributed to the great favour the Claviorganum, or combined spinet and organ, was held in during the 16th century. The researches of Mr. Edmond Vander Straeten ('La Musique aux Pays Bas,' vol. viii. Brussels 1885), have done much to bring into prominence the great use of the Claviorganum at an early time; see Rabelais, who, before 1552, described Carêmeprenant as having toes like an 'epinette organisée.'"] In the preparation of the soundboards the notion of the soundchest of Lute and Psaltery prevailed. Ruckers adhered to this principle, but being a tuner and perhaps a builder of organs, he turned to the organ as a type for an improved clavecin, and while holding fast to timbre as the chief excellence and end of musical instrument making, introduced different tone-colours, and combined them after organ analogies and by organ contrivances of added keyboards and registers. The octave stop had been already copied in the little octave spinets which Prætorius tells us were commonly used to reinforce the tone of larger instruments, but the merit of Hans Ruckers, traditionally attributed to him, and never gainsaid, was his placing the octave as a fixture in the long clavecin, boldly attaching the strings to hitchpins on the soundboard (strengthened beneath for the purpose), and by the addition of another keyboard, also a fixture, thus establishing a model which remained dominant for large instruments until the end of the clavecin manufacture.[4]

An interesting chapter is devoted to the Ruckers family by M. Edmond Vander Straeten in the work already referred to (vol. iii. p. 325 etc.) He has gathered up the few documentary notices of the members of it discovered by MM. Rombouts and Van Lerius, by M. Génard and by M. Léon de Burbure, with some other facts that complete all that is known about them.

The name Ruckers, variously spelt Rukers, Rueckers, Ruyckers, Ruekaers, Rieckers, and Rikaert, is really a contraction or corruption of the Flemish Ruckaerts or Ryckaertszoon, equivalent to the English Richardson. Hans the elder was certainly of Flemish origin, being the son of Francis Ruckers of Mechlin. He can hardly have been born later than 1555. Married at Notre Dame (the cathedral), Antwerp, June 25, 1575. as Hans Ruckaerts, to Naenken Cnaeps, he was admitted as Hans Ruyckers, 'clavisinbalmakerre,' to the Lucas guild in 1579. It appears strange that he was not enrolled a citizen until 1594, but this may have been, as M. de burbure suggests, a re-admission, to repair the loss of a record burnt when the Spaniards sacked the Hôtel de Ville in 1576. In those troubled times there could have been but little to do in clavecin-making. May we see in this a reason for his acquiring that knowledge of the organ which was to lead ultimately to his remodelling the long clavecin?

He had four sons, Francis, Hans, Andries, and Anthony. It is only with Hans (baptized Jan. 13, 1578) and Andries (baptized Aug. 30, 1579) that we are concerned, since they became clavecin makers of equal reputation with their father. We learn that in 1591 Hans Ruckers the elder became tuner of the organ in the Virgin's chapel of the Cathedral, and that in 1593 he added 14 or 15 stops to the large organ in the same church. In 1598 and 1599 either he or his son Hans (the records do not specify which) had charge of the organs of St. Bavon, and from 1617 to 1623 of St. Jacques. The like doubt exists as to the Hans who died in 1642. We believe that this date refers to the son, as the latest clavecin we have met with of his make is Mr. Leyland's beautiful instrument dated that year; the latest date of the father's clavecins at present found being either 1632 (doubtful, see No. 8) or 1614. The earliest is 1590, with which date three existing instruments are marked. The trade-mark of Hans the elder, is here represented.

Of the instruments catalogued below it will be observed that eleven are probably by Hans the elder. The long ones are provided with the octave stop and, perhaps without exception (one being without details), have the two keyboards identified with him as the inventor. But it is interesting to observe the expedients agreeing with the statement of Prætorius, that octave instruments[5] were employed with and in the oblong clavecins. These expedients doubtless originated before Hans Ruckers; indeed in the Museum at Nuremberg, there is an oblong clavecin of Antwerp make, signed 'Martinus Vander Biest,' and dated 1580, that has an octave spinet in it.[6] 'Merten' Vander Biest entered the Guild in Antwerp, as one of the ten clavecin makers, in 1558. Now Messrs. Chappell of London own such an instrument, No. 9 in appended catalogue, made by Hans Ruckers, certainly the elder. No keys remain, but the scale of both the fixed and movable keyboards is the same, four octaves marked near the wrestpins si—si (B—B). In this clavecin it is the left hand keyboard which is removable and is tuned an octave higher. In the Museum of the Conservatoire, Brussels, there is an oblong clavecin by Hans the elder (No. 4) wherein the octave spinet is above and not by the side of the fixed one—according to M. Victor Mahillon a later addition, though the work of the maker himself. This curious instrument formerly belonged to Fétis, and is dated 1610. While on the subject of these removable octave spinets we will refer to one with keyboards side by side made by Hans the younger (No. 13), and dated 1619, the property of M. Regibo, and another, a long clavecin, also by Hans the younger (No. 26), not dated, belonging to M. Snoeck of Renaix, that has the octave spinet fixed in the angle side, precisely as in a more modern one, made by Coenen of Ruremonde, which may be seen in the Plantin museum, Antwerp. [App. p.777 "see Ruckers No. 59, by Hans the elder, now in the Kunst und Gewerbe Museum, Berlin, as being similarly constructed."]

Hans Ruckers the younger—known to the Belgian musicologists as Jean, because he used the initials J. R. in his rose, while the father, as far as we know, used H. R.—was, as we have said, the second son. M. Régibo has supplied us with three of his roses.

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We have given the date of his baptism in the cathedral in 1578, but have no further details record beyond the ascertained facts that he was married to Marie Waelrant, of the family of the musician Hubert Waelrant,[7] in the cathedral, Nov. 14, 1604; that either he or his brother Andries was admitted as a master in the Guild in 1611; and that he was employed to tune the organ of St. Jacques from 1631 until 1642. There is also evidence as to his having died in that year, and not the father, who would seem to have died before.

Mr. Vander Straeten has however brought us nearer Hans the younger, by reference to Sainsbury's collection of 'Original unpublished papers illustrative of the life of Sir Peter Paul Rubens' (London, 1859, p. 208 etc.), wherein are several letters which passed in 1638 between the painter Balthazar Gerbier, at that time at Brussels, and the private secretary of Charles I., Sir F. Windebank. They relate to the purchase of a good virginal from Antwerp for the King of England. Be it remembered that up to this time, and even as late as the Restoration, all clavecins in England, long or square, were called Virginals. [See Virginal.] Gerbier saw one that had been made by Hans Ruckers the younger ('Johannes Rickarts'), for the Infanta. He describes it as having a double keyboard placed at one end, and four stops; exactly what we should now call a double harpsichord. There were two paintings inside the cover, the one nearest the player by Rubens; the subject Cupid and Psyche. The dealer asked £30 for it, such instruments without paintings being priced at £15. After some correspondence it was bought and sent over. Arrived in London it was found to be wanting 6 or 7 keys, and to be insufficient for the music,[8] and Gerbier was requested to get it exchanged for one with larger compass. Referring to the maker, Gerbier was informed that he had not another on sale and that the instrument could not be altered. So after this straightforward but rather gruff answer Gerbier was written to not to trouble himself further about it. Mr. Vander Straeten enquires what has become of this jewel? We agree with him that the preservation of the pictures has probably long since caused the destruction of the instrument. With such decoration it would hardly remain in a lumber room. Mr. Vander Straeten himself possesses a Jean Ruckers single harpsichord, restored by M. Ch. Meerens, of which he has given a heliotype illustration in his work. It is a splendid specimen of Hans the younger.

Andries Ruckers (the elder, to distinguish him from his son Andries), the third son of Hans, was, as we have said, baptized in 1579, and perhaps became a master in 1611. It is certain that in 1619 a clavecin was ordered from him, for the reunions and dramatic representations of the guild and purchased by subscription. As a member of the confraternity of the Holy Virgin in the cathedral he was tuning the chapel organ gratuitously in 1644. His work, spite of Burney's impression about the relative excellence of his larger instruments, was held in as great esteem as that of his father and brother, as the above-mentioned commission shows. In 1671, Jean Cox, choirmaster of the cathedral, left by will, as a precious object, an André Ruckers clavecin. Handel, many years after, did the same. Within the writer's recollection there have been three honoured witnesses in London to this maker's fame, viz. Handel's (No. 47), dated 1651, given by Messrs. Broadwood to South Kensington Museum; Col. Hopkinson's (No. 31) dated 1614; and Miss Twining's, a single keyboard one (No. 45), dated 1640, still at Twickenham.[9] A tradition exists that Handel had also played upon both the last-named instruments. We do not know when Andries Ruckers the elder died. He was certainly living in 1651, since that date is on his harpsichord (Handel's) at South Kensington. His roses are here given.

Of Andries Ruckers the younger, the information is most meagre. Born in 1607, we think he became a master in 1636. The Christian name is wanting to the entry in the ledger, but as the son of a master, the son of Andries the elder is apparently indicated. The researches of M. Génard have proved the birth of a daughter to Hans the younger, but not that of a son. It might be Christopher, could we attribute to him a master for a father. Regarding him, however, as living earlier, we are content to believe that Andries the younger then became free of the Guild; but as his known instruments are of late date it is possible that he worked much with his father. We know from a baptism in 1665 that the younger Andries had married Catherina de Vriese, perhaps of the family of Dirck or Thierri de Vries, a clavecin-maker whose death is recorded in 1628. Fétis (Biographie universelle, 2nd edit, vii., 3466) says he had seen a fine clavecin made by Andries the younger, dated 1667. M. Régibo possesses undoubted instruments by him, and has supplied a copy of his rose (7). He has done the same for Christopher Ruckers (8), of whose make he owns a specimen. M. Vander Straeten refers to another in the Museum at Namur. We cannot determine Christopher's relationship to the other Ruckers, but he might have been the her Christofel Ruckers, organist and clockmaker of Termonde, where he set up a carillon in 1549—possibly a priest, at least the title 'her' would indicate a person regarded with veneration. The same writer, in the 5th vol. p. 393 of 'La Musique aux Pays-Bas,' continues, 'who knows if this Christopher did not own a workshop for clavecin making. The priest was everything at that epoch, and a scholar an organ or spinet builder seems to us quite natural and normal.'

We will now give the list of the existing Ruckers instruments, as complete as we have been able to make it. The kind and never tiring help of MM. Mahillon, Meerens, and Vander Straeten of Brussels, and of MM. Snoeck and Régibo of Renaix, as well as of other friends, in compiling it, is gratefully acknowledged.

[App. p.777 "Nos. 1 to 58 are tabulated in vol. iii. pp. 197–9. Nos. 59 to 62, vol. iii. p. 652. Nos. 63 to 66, vol. iv. p. 305."]

Catalogue of Ruckers Clavecins, still existing (1881), as far as possible according to date. Extreme measurements of length and width.

In all the soundboards are painted with devices, generally of fruit, birds, and flowers.

I. Hans Ruckers de Oude (the Elder).

No. Form. Date. Dimensions. General Description. Present Owner. Source of information.
ft. in. ft. in.
1 Bent side. 1590 7 4 by 2 9 2 keyboards, not original; black naturals; 4¾ octaves, G—E; finely painted. Rose No. 1. Collection of M.Régibo, Renaix. A. Régibo.
2 Bent side. 1590 7 9 by 2 10¼ 2 keyboards, not original; black naturals; 5oct.; extended by Blanchet.[10] Inscribed Hans Ruckers me fecit Antverpiae; Rose No. l. Musée du Conservatoire, Paris. G. Chouquet
3 Bent side. 1590 . . . . . . 2 keyboards; case 'en laque de Chine; 5 stops 'à genoullière' Château de Pau, France. Spire Blondel, 'La Revue Britannique.' Oct. 1880.[11]
4 Oblong. 1610 5 7 by 1 7 2 keyboards one above the other; white naturals; 4½ oct., C—F each. The upper and octave instrument a later addition by the maker. Inscribed Hans Ruckers me fecit Antverpiae. 1610. Musée du Conservatoire, Brussels. V. Mahillon.
5 Oblong. 1611 5 9 by 1 1 keyboard; 3¾ oct., E—C; case patterned paper. Inscribed Joannes Ruckers fecit Antverpiae, 1611; H. R. rose. Musée du Steen, Antwerp E. Vander Straeten and V. Mahillon.
6 Oblong. 1614 5 by 1 1 keyboard; 3¾ oct., E—C; white naturals. M. Snoeck, Renaix. C. Meerens.
7 Bent side. 1614 7 by 3 3 2 keyboards; not original; 5 oct., etc., F—G; white naturals; curved bent side and round narrow end; 2 genouillières and a sourdine of the last century. Rose No. 1. M. Snoeck, Renaix. C. Meerens.
8 . . . . 1632 . . . . . . Top painted. (The date inclines us to attribute this one to Hans the Younger); the rose is not described. M. De Breyne, Ypres. E. Vander Straeten.
9 Oblong. Un-
5 7 by 1 2 keyboards side by side, the left-hand one removable, having its own belly and rose, but to be tuned an 8ve. higher than the fixed instrument; no keys left; 4 oct., B—B. Both stretchers inscribed Joannes Ruckers me fecit. 2 roses No. 1. (See No. 13.) Good paintings. Stand, an arcade with 6 balusters. Messrs. Chappell & Co., London. A. J. Hipkins.
10 Bent side. 7 4 by 2 7 2 original keyboards; 4½ oct., C—F (5 keys added); white naturals; 3 stops. M. Régibo, Renaix. A. Régibo.

II. Hans Ruckers de Jonge (the Younger).

11 Bent side 1617 9 8 by 3 7 2 keyboards; white naturals. Paintings in Vernis Martin, lately removed. M. Pilette. Brussels. 1878, since sold, Hotel Drouot. Victor Mahillon.
12 Oblong. 1618 2 by 1 3 1 original keyboard; 3¾ oct., E—C; white naturals. Inscribed Joannes Ruckers Fecit. Rose No. 2. Musée du Conservatoire, Paris. G. Chouquet.
13 Oblong. 1619 7 4 by 2 7 2 original keyboards side by side. 4 stops to the fixed one, the other tuned 8ve. higher; 4½ oct., C—F; white naturals. Roses No. 4. (See No. 9.) M. Régibo, Renaix. A. Régibo.
14 Oblong. 1619 3 5 by 1 1 original keyboard; 3¾ oct., E—C; white naturals. Rose No. 2. M. Régibo. Renaix. A. Régibo.
15 Oblong. 1622 5 7 by 1 1 keyboard; 4½ oct., C—F; white naturals. Inscribed Joannes ruckers fecit Antverpiae, 1622, and Omnis spiritus laudet Dominum. M. Victor Mahillon, Brussels. V. Mahillon.
16 Bent side. 1627 6 0 by 2 1 original keyboard; 4⅓ oct., C—E; white naturals; 2 stops; Rose No. 4; painting inside top, drawn in 'La Musique aux Pays-Bas,' tome 3. Inscribed as No. 15, and Musica donum Dei. M. Vander Straeten, Brussels E. Vander Straeten.
17 Oblong. 1628 5 9 by 1 1 keyboard; 4½ oct., C—F, without lowest C♯; appears to have been extended by the maker from 3¾ oct., E—C. A sourdine 'à genouillère.' M. Léon Jouret, Brussels. V. Mahillon.
18 Bent side. 1630 4 10½ by 2 10 2 keyboards; 4¾ oct., G—E; black naturals; painting inside top said to be by Lancret. Inscribed Joannes Ruckers me fecit Antverpiae. Case and top black and gold lacquer. Chinese. Drawn in 'L'Illustration' 13 March, 1858, and as frontispiece to Chevalier de Burbure's pamphlet. Baroness James de Rothschild, Paris. Georges Pfeiffer.
19 Bent side. 1632 8 2 by 3 3 2 keyboards; 5 oct. and 1 note, F—G; white naturals; 4 stops 'à genouillère.' Rose No. 3. M. Snoeck, Renaix. C. Meerens.
20 Bent side. 1637 6 1 by 2 1 keyboard; 4⅔ oct., A—F; white naturals. Inscribed as No. 18, with date. John Callcott Horsley, Esq., R.A., London. J. C. Horsley.
21 Oblong. 1638 5 9 by 1 7 1 keyboard; 4 oct., etc,, C—D; white naturals. Inscribed as No. 15, with date, and MUSICA MAGNORUM EST SOLAMEN DULCE LABORUM. Rose No. 2. M. Snoeck, Renaix. C. Meerens.
22 Bent side. 1639 5 9 by 2 1 keyboard; no keys; 4 stops; Rose No. 4; black and gold case. South Kensington Museum (gift of Messrs. Kirkman). A. J. Hipkins.
23 Bent side. 1642 7 by 2 8 2 keyboards; 4⅓ oct., B—D; 4 stops at the side as originally placed; Rose No. 4; paintings. F. R. Leyland, Esq., London. A. J. Hipkins.
24 Bent side. Un-
7 11 by 3 0 2 keyboards; 5 oct., F—F; painted outside by Teuiers or Brouwer, inside by Breughel and Paul Bril. Rose No. 3. Musée du Conservatoire, Paris (Clapisson Collection). G. Chouquet.
25 Bent side. 7 1 by 2 7 1 keyboard; 4 oct., G—D; black naturals; Rose No. 4; blackwood case with incrusted ivory; according to M. du Sommerard, Italian work. Musée de l'Hotel de Cluny, Paris. Cat. 1875, No. 2825. A. J. Hipkins.
26 Bent side,
with oblong
clavecin at-
5 11 by 2 2 keyboards; each 3¾ oct., E—C; black naturals; 2 stops to the bent side instrument and Rose No. 4; to the oblong one, Rose No. 2; superbly painted. The two instruments together form an oblong square. M. Snoeck, Renaix. C. Meerens.
27 Bent side. 5 11 by 2 4½ oct., C—E; white naturals; superb paintings. M. Snoeck, Renaix. C. Meerens.
28 Bent side. 6 0 by 2 7 1 original keyboard, 4½ oct., C—F; 5 keys added in treble; white naturals; 3 stops; Rose No. 2; painting of Orpheus playing a bass viol. M. Régibo, Renaix. A. Régibo
29 Bent side. . . . . . . 1 original keyboard; 4½ oct., C—F; 4 keys added in treble; Rose No. 3, cut in hard wood. M. Régibo, Renaix. A. Régibo.

III. Andries Ruckers de Oude (the Elder).

30 Oblong. 1613 3 by 1 1 keyboard; 4 oct., C—C; white naturals. Inscribed Andreas Ruckers me fecit Antverpiae, 1613. Belonged to the clavecinist and carilloneur, Matthias Vanden Gheyn, who put his mark upon it in 1740. Musée du Conservatoire, Brussels. V. Mahillon.
31 Bent side. 1614 7 6 by 2 8 2 keyboards, not original; 4½ Oct., A—E; white naturals; buff leather, lute and octave stops; pedal, not original; case veneered last century. Inscribed as No. 30. Rose No. 6. Painting inside top attributed to Van der Meulen. Colonel Hopkinson, London. A. J. Hipkins.
32 Bent side. 1615 4 0 by Inscribed Concordia res . parvae . crescunt . discordia . maximae . dilabuntur; was in the Collegiate Church of St. Jacques, Antwerp. . . . . . . . . . Léon de Burbure. p. 26.
33 Bent side. 1618 7 4 by 2 10 4½ oct., C—F; white naturals. Inscribed Soli Deo Gloria. M. Snoeck, Renaix. C. Meerens.
34 Bent side. 1619 8 10¼ by 2 10 2 keyboards; 5 oct., C—C; the lowest note 8ve. below cello C; belly gilt and diapered in Moorish style; painting of Orpheus outside. Inscribed as No. 30, with date. Rose No. 5. M. Régibo, Renaix. A. Régibo,
35 Bent side. 1620 5 10 by 2 8 4 oct., C—F; white naturals; 4 stops. M. Snoeck, Renaix. C. Meerens.
36 Oblong. 1620 4 1 by 1 1 keyboard; 3¾ oct., E—C; white naturals. Inscribed as No. 30, and inside the top Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. M. Alfred Campo, Brussels. V. Mahillon.
37 Oblong. 1623 5 by 1 1 keyboard; 4 oct., C—C; white naturals. Inscribed as No. 30, with date. MM. Victor and Joseph Mahillon, Brussels. V. Mahillon.
38 Bent side. 1623 7 9 by 3 1 2 keyboards; 5 oct., F—F; white naturals; 3 stops; pedal not original; case veneered last century. Rose No. 6. Dr. Hullah, London. H. Holiday.
39 Bent side. 1624 8 0 by 2 10 5 oct., F—F; 3 stops. Inscribed Musica Laetitiae Comes, Medicina Dolorum. Musée Archéologique, Bruges. V. Mahillon.
40 Oblong. 1626 4 0 by 3 1 keyboard: 3½ oct. and 2 notes; at least an 8ve added in the last century. Inscribed as No. 30, and inside top as No. 36. The stand a row of five balusters. . . . . . . . . . . E. Vander Straeten.
41 Oblong. 1632 5 8 by 1 1 original keyboard to right hand of front; 4½ oct., C—F; white naturals. Inscribed inside top Musica . magnorum . solamen . dulce . Laborum. Rose No. 6. M. Régibo, Renaix. A. Régibo.
42 Oblong. 1633 2 by 1 6 1 original keyboard to left hand of front; 4½ oct., C—F; white naturals. Inscribed Andreas Ruckers fecit Antverpiae. Hardwood jacks of double thickness; painting inside top. Rose No. 6. M. Régibo, Renaix. A. Régibo.
43 . . . . 1634 . . . . . . Inscribed Andreas ruckebs Antverpiae. In a village in Flanders. E. Vander Straeten.
44 Bent side. 1636 . . . . . . 2 keyboards not original; 5 oct.; black naturals; stops and legs like Taskin's; beautifully painted. Inscribed as No. 30, with date. . . . Dijon. France. E. Vander Straeten.
45 Bent side. 1640 6 0 by 2 6 1 original keyboard; 4 oct., etc., C—D; white naturals. Inscribed Andreas Rukers, 1640; and inside top Musica Laetitiae Comes Medicina Dolorum; inside flap Concordia muses Amica. 2 stops; Rose No. 6; case patt. paper. Miss Twining, Dial House, Twickenham. A. J. Hipkins.
46 Oblong. 1644 5 8 by 1 8 1 keyboard; 4 oct., C C. Inscribed Andreas ruckers, Anno 1644. M. Victor Mahillon, Brussels. V. Mahillon.
47 Bent side. 1651 6 8 by 3 0 2 keyboards not original; nearly 6 oct., G—F, lowest G♯ wanting; white naturals. Inscribed as No. 30. with date, and Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. Musica Donum Dei. and formerly Acta Virum Probant. Concert of monkeys on the belly, one conducting. Rose No. 6. South Kensington Museum (gift, as having been Handel's, of Messrs. Broadwood). A. J. Hipikns.
48 Oblong. Un-
2 7 by 1 1 original keyboard placed in the middle; 4 Oct., C—C; white naturals. Rose No. 6. M. Régibo, Renaix. A. Régibo.
49 Bent side. 7 6 by 2 7 2 keyboards; the lower 4 oct., etc., B—C, the upper 3½ oct., E—C; only one key, a white natural, left; 3 stops; no name or rose, but style of work of A. R. Inscribed Omnis Spiritus Laudet Dominum Concordia Res Parvae Crescunt Discordia Maximae Dilabuntur. Musée du Steen. Antwerp. V. Mahillon.
50 Bent side. 7 3 by 2 11 2 keyboards, not original; 6 oct., F—F; black naturals; inscribed as No. 30; date of renovation, 1758, marked on a jack; fine paintings. Le Baron de Göer. Château de Velu, Pas de Calais, France. V. Mahillon.
51 Oblong 3 8 by 1 5 1 keyboard; 4½ oct., C—F; white naturals; inscribed as No. 30. . . . . . . . . . V. Mahillon.
52 Bent side. 6 6 by 2 8 2 keyboards; 4½ oct., B—F; white naturals; name and rose wanting; attributed to A. R. by the work. M. Snoeck, Renaix. C. Meerens.
53 Oblong. 3 8 by 1 4 1 keyboard 3¾ oct., E—C. Rose No. 6. M. Snoeck, Renaix. C. Snoeck.

IV. Andries Ruckers de Jonge (the Younger).

54 Bent side. 1655 . . . . . . Case painted in blue camaleu in rococo style; attribution to the younger A. R. from the late date. M. Lavignée (from the Château de Ferceau, près Cosne). S. Blondel.
55 Bent side. 1656 5 by 2 1 original keyboard; 4 oct., C—C; white naturals; painting inside top. Rose No. 7. M. Régibo. Renaix. A. Régibo.
56 Bent side. 1659 5 10 by 2 4 1 original keyboard; 4oct., C—C; white naturals. Rose No. 7. M. Régibo. Renaix. A. Régibo.
57 Oblong. 4 9 by 1 1 original keyboard to the left; 4 oct., etc., D—E; white naturals. Rose No. 7. M. Régibo. Renaix. A. Régibo.

V. Christofel Ruckers.

58 Oblong. Un-
3 7 by 1 original keyboard to the right; 4 oct., E—E, without the highest D♯; white naturals; Rose No. 8; soundboard and top renewed. M. Régibo. Renaix. A. Régibo.

[ A. J. H. ]

App. p.767:

HANS RUCKERS (the Elder or the Younger) and ANDRIES RUCKERS (the Elder).

No. Form. Date. Dimensions. General Description. Present Owner. Source of information.
67 Bent side. Not original. To be found in pp. 193b, 194a. Panmure Gordon, Esq. A. J. Hipkins.
68 Bent side. 1628 7ft. 7¼ by 3ft. 6½ Rose No. 6 in soundboard, which is painted with the usual decoration. The width has been increased to admit of a greater compass. Walter H. Burns, Esq. and Captain Hall. A. J. Hipkins.
69 Four cornered. 32 in. long. 12½ in. wide, 6 in, deep: keyboard projects 4 in. White natural keys. E to D, nearly 4 octaves. Inscribed Andreas Ruckers me fecit Antverpiae (Rose No. 6?). Inside surfaces painted in black curved design on a white ground, Red line round the inside. Georgian mahogany case. W. H. Hammond Jones, Esq., Witley, Godalming. W. H. H. Jones, Esq.

Andries Ruckers (the Elder).

No. Form. Date. Dimensions. General Description. Present Owner. Source of information.
70 Bent side. 1639 6 ft. 4 in., 2 ft. 9 at keyboard. Two keyboards, compass 4½ octaves G—D, white naturals. Two unisons and octave. Soundboard painted, and usual A. Ruckers rose. Mr. C. Cramp, Byfleld, Northamptonshire. Mr. C. Cramp.

  1. See 'De Liggeren en andere Historische Archieven der Antwerpsche Sint Lucasgilde.' Rombouts en Van Lerius. 2 vols. Baggerman, Antwerp; Nijhoff, The Hague.
  2. Later on, tuners also became members of the guild. For instance, Michel Colyns, Claversingelstelder, in 1631–2; who was however the son of a member.
  3. Burney refers to these marks when writing about the Ruckers.
  4. The end of the manufacture for Antwerp is chronicled by M. de Burbure in one seen by him—he does not say whether single or double—made by a blind man, and inscribed 'Joannes Heineman me fecit A° 1795, Antwerpiæ.' [App. p.777 "The latest harpsichord in date known to have been made in London is the fine Joseph Kirkman, dated 1798, belonging to Mr. J. A. Fuller Maitland."]
  5. We hesitate to accept Prætorius' statement literally as to such spinets being tuned a fifth as well as an octave higher. This more likely originates in the fact that the F and C instruments had before his time been made at one and the same pitch, starting from the lowest key, although the disposition of the keyboards and names of the notes were different; as in organs, where pipes of the same measurement had been actually used for the note F or the note C. See Arnold Schlick's 'Spiegel der Orgelmacher,' 1511.
  6. A woodcut of this rare instrument is given in Part ix. of Dr. A. Reissmann's 'Illustrirte Geschiehte der deutschen Musik,' Leipzig, 1881. Both keyboards, side by side, are apparently original, with, white naturals and compass of 4 octaves C—C. It is the right-hand keyboard that is tuned the octave higher and is removable like a drawer. A full description of this double Instrument is reproduced, in Reissmann's work, copied from the 'Anzeiger für Kunde der deutschen Vorzeit' (Nuremberg, 1879. No. 9).
  7. Dr. John Bull succeeded Humold Waelrent as organist of the cathedral in 1617, and retained the post until his death in 1628. He must have known Hans Ruckers and his two sons well, and been well acquainted with their instruments.
  8. The Hitchcocks were at this time making spinets in London with five octaves, G—G. [App. p.777 "The Hitchcocks were active in the second half of the 17th century and in the first years of the 18th."]
  9. This instrument formerly belonged to the Rev. Thomas Twining, Rector of St. Mary, Colchester, who died in 1804. A learned scholar (he translated Aristotle's 'Poetics') and clever musician, he enjoyed the friendship of Burney and valued highly his favourite harpsichord, on which the great Handel had played. Mr. Charles Salaman used both this instrument and Messrs. Broadwood's in his admirable lectures given in 1855–6 in London and the provinces.
  10. It is believed by MM. Snoeck, Vander Straeten, Régibo. and V. Mahillon, that few of the Ruckers clavecins are of the original compass of keys. The statements of compass in this list and also in Keyboard should be qualified by this remark. The increase was, however, made long ago, and in some instances possibly by the maker himself. M. Vander Straeten, p. 348, has a quoted passage from Van Blankenburg: 'This was at the time when clavecins had still a narrow keyboard. In the present day (1739?) it would be difficult to meet with one of this kind; all the keyboards having been lengthened.' Again, white naturals are believed to be original these instruments. Upon very old alterations it is not easy to decide. We are of opinion that black naturals and ivory sharps were occasionally substituted when the paintings were done. In dealing with these questions, however, it is best to refrain from generalising; many errors having arisen from too hasty conclusions.
  11. M. Spire Blondel (Histoire Anecdotique du Piano) mentions a Ruckers clavecin, painted by Gravelot, as finding a buyer at the sale of Blondel d'Azincourt. M. du Sommerard in a private letter refers to one found in a village, probably a Hans Ruckers. There are more in France, as M. Chouquet has heard of three, but has no particulars of them to communicate. Enquiry has failed to discover in one in Holland or the Rhenish provinces.