At a time when most French harpsichords were produced in Paris, Luigi Baillon made this instrument in a small village known for its Cistercian monastery. Baillon, who may have moved to Citeaux because of religious reasons, originally produced a simply decorated instrument. The sumptuous gold stand and painted decoration were added in the 19th century.An imposing sight in the gallery, this provincial French instrument is the only known example by its maker. At the end of the 19th century the instrument was extensively altered by Louis Thomasini, including the alteration of the compass which was restored to its original form in 1963. The case construction shows both Saxon and Italian influences, the outer case is eleboratedly decorated with chinoiserie scenes, while the lid feature a fine painting depicting Venus and Neptune. (Rodger Mirrey Collection).