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Harpsichords

Clavichords

Spinets

Virginals

Forte-Pianos

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

SOLD! to the gentleman from Edmonton, Alberta!
Bentside Spinet by Fred Bettenhausen (1997) after Goujon 1753 (used)

This charming bentside spinet was built in 1997 by harpsichord builder Fred Bettenhausen of Haarlem, the Netherlands. It is based on Parisian builder Jean-Claude Goujon's, "epinette en aile d'oiseau" of 1753, currently in the Musée de la Musique, Paris (item E.971.5.1). Bettenhausen has slightly extended the keyboard -- he added back the F# omitted on the original -- and made it a transposer. The resulting five octaves can include either the FF or the g''', depending on transposition, allowing the entire harpsichord repertoire to be played on it.



The Latin motto says, "Music is the companion of joy and the medicine of sorrow."

Spinets were designed as personal instruments. They don't have the volume to fill a concert hall, although they can be used effectively in smaller venues. The position of the lid vis-a-vis the player is awkward for a solo performance, but can work with an ensemble or for accompaniment. Where the spinets really shine, though, is for recreational playing and for musical get-togethers at home. Since the keyboard is on the side they take up a minimum of wall-space and when you are not playing it you can enjoy just looking at it. Wouldn't this would be a knock-out in an apartment or loft condo?

[below] As you can see, this is an extremely beautiful instrument. The original owner chose her spinet and commissioned the hand-painted decoration when she was in Europe. Some details of the soundboard painting...


[below] Like many of us modern-day builders, Mr. Bettenhausen combines old and new materials. The soundboard is Swiss pine, considered by many to be the best wood for soundboards. The jacks are traditional pearwood with nylon tongues -- which are copied from an original French instrument. They are sprung with traditional hog's bristle springs and quilled in modern Delrin.


 

[below] The owner is including this TLA CTS-5 tuner, compare at over 400 / $500 USD / $670 CAD. It will tune equal temperament, of course, and also 15 common baroque temperaments. Not playing at A440? It can be set to any pitch between 380.0 Hz to 470.0 Hz in steps of 0.1. Generates tones or identifies the note it hears as you choose, runs on AC or batteries, has its own microphone and is accurate to .01 Hz. New to tuning? The CTS-5 will display step-by-step instructions in its LCD window.

 

There is a tuning hammer, of course, and some spare wires and 6 spare jacks are included as well. Everything is modern standard so replacements are easily available should you ever need them. Also included is a full set of arcades which the current owner ordered from Fred Bettenhausen but has not yet installed.
[below] The instrument comes with matching music desk, propstick and an upholstered bench. Like the legs of the spinet, the bench legs unscrew for transport. As you can see, it's really tiny.   [below] The quilted cloth cover is useful for moving the the instrument safely or for wrapping it up when it's time to paint. The grey bag (the owner calls it the 'leg cozy' ) has seven pockets, safe storage for the turned legs from the bench (4) and the instrument (3).

 


We should point out that besides being a delightful instrument to play, its design, reputation of the builder, quality materials and beautiful decoration make this little spinet a good investment. Like any comparable work of art it can be expected to keep its value and to appreciate if well-maintained. The owner will include original documents and other provenance. Speaking of maintenance, this instrument has been professionally maintained by us for years. It is currently in *excellent* condition. If you like we can arrange a maintenance plan for you as well, either by us or by a colleague in your area.

Yes, quality harpsichords like this one do hold their value, and there's not much else these days that does. You may have seen this spinet on our pages before, we sold it for its previous owner in 2003. She had decided to pursue her interest in romantic music and wanted to see her spinet in a home where it was played more frequently -- and to help with buying the really good grand she wanted. She got her full purchase price back on the sale of her spinet. The gentleman from Hull QU who purchased it then has decided to concentrate on playing the recorder (he finds he cannot play both at the same time) and we think he will have no difficulty in getting his full investment back as well.

Price: $10,900 CAD firm / $9,000 USD / £5,100 GBP / € 7 410/ $95,100 MXN / ¥ 1,002,000 JPY plus shipping from Hull QU (near Ottawa, Canada) and applicable taxes & duties. Sorry, this one was SOLD! to the gentleman from Edmonton, Alberta as of December 8, 2005. If you missed out, we do get other spinets from time to time. E-mail Claviers Baroques or give us a call toll-free in North America at 1-888-597-0946, tell us what you are looking for and we will put you on our 'early warning' list to notify you if something interesting turns up.

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