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Virginals

Forte-Pianos

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Mathew Redsell (Toronto) 1980 polygonal virginal after Perticci 1684

probably sold, but we will post a note if status changes...

Asking: $2,000 CAD / $1,300 USD plus shipping.

This charming little virginal was built in 1980 (we found a date on one of the jacks) by Matthew Redsell from R. K. Lee's plans of the Ioannes de Perticis 1684. Compass CC/EE to c''', 45 notes but short octave bass gives effective compass of four octaves. Single strung in brass. Case in pine, cherry trim and sharps, pau ferro naturals.

We completely refurbished for its present owner in July 2000 -- all new strings (originally phosphor bronze in the bass, we changed to red and yellow brass) and new Celcon plectra, plus complete revoicing and regulation. At that time it was playing like a dream and sounded simply wonderful. The new brass wire will keep its clear, sweet tone for a couple of decades before it needs replacing. In addition to what you see in there is a stand, music desk and tuning wrench, but no case.

Sound samples coming soon.

• Bach Prelude #1 C major (excerpt) --
• Bach Prelude #2 C major (excerpt) --
• chromatics --

You can see the stand in the photo at the left.

The strings are plucked near the mid-point for that distinctive 'plummy' virginal sound. Despite its small size it is quite loud enough to play with another instrument, a singer, or even a small ensemble if the hall isn't too big -- should work OK in any room that holds up to 100 people, assuming an average acoustic. It doesn't have the bass range, but with a gamba or cello that's all the continuo you will need. For personal music it is ideal. It is small enough for an office, in fact that's where it has been for the past 25 years. It is *very* portable, too, one person can easily carry it and it fits in a hatch-back. It can even be carried on foot or on public transit for gigging in the big city.

This instrument was built in Canada therefore no duty under NAFTA. Due to it's small size shipping should be quite reasonable, perhaps $200 to $300 would get it anywhere in North America, customs clearance would be perhaps another $150.


The only flaw we know of is that this instrument was situated under a hanging plant at one point in its history and suffered some water damage to the soundboard when the spiderplant above it was overwatered by a zealous house-sitter. During our work on it in 2000 we refinished the soundboard and we were able to remove much but not all of the watermarking. We also checked extensively for other water damage to the instrument (ie, looked at glue joints, poked and prodded, and played the little thing a lot). In our estimation the only damage from the water was cosmetic and we have been able to efface most of that. There is still a mark, but it is not all that noticeable -- there are photos below so you can judge for yourself.

[above] You can see the dark spot in the centre of the soundboard above where the water dripped onto the centre of the soundboard. There is also a mark where it puddled up behind the long bridge on the bass end.

Asking: $2,000 CAD / $1,300 USD plus shipping. [back to used instruments page]

Note: This instrument is sold, but we have gotten so many enquiries that we are thinking of building a run of them in spring/summer of 2003. Price would be around $6,000 USD/ $10,000 CAD, plus shipping and customs. Interested? Give us a shout via e-mail Claviers Baroques or phone us at 1-888-597-0946.

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