Close the lid on this clavichord and you could pick it up and take it on a journey. The instrument’s soft sound meant it was best-suited for playing in small rooms. Its low volume has the added bonus of not disturbing the neighbours.Displayed at the centre of this lid is a chequy (chequered)-patterned crest held up by two leaf-tailed creatures. A consistent chequy-pattern in a shield with no other symbols on it suggests it belonged to an old family. The exact origins of the crest are unknown, however the appearance of the helmet and the colours used (red symbolising military strength and gold wisdom) all point towards the owner being of military ranking.
(Rodger Mirrey Collection).
Technical description: Unfretted clavichord. Compass 49 notes, C₂ - D₆ [C - d''']. Double strung throughout. Bridge double-pinned throughout. Note names are written in ink on a parchment strip beside the tuning pins. The framed stand is old.
Pitched at A = 415 Hz
Decoration: The exterior of the case has a painted grained finished. The lid decoration shows a shield supported by two leaf-tailed figures. There are inner ironwork strap hinges to the lid. The exposed key levers are roof-carved.
Repair History: Restored by Hugh Gough and Bronislaw Roguski in 1957 or earlier; work on key guides by John Barnes in 1964; restored by Peter Bavington in 2003.
Bought by donor in 1957; previously bought by Hugh Gough at Sothebys.; Gift of Rodger and Lynne Mirrey, 2005.