Harpsichord

Harpsichords are shaped roughly like grand pianos. The sound is made by the action of the keys, which make the quills pluck the strings inside the instrument. This example was made by Pascal-Joseph Taskin I (1723-1793), who was instrument maker to the court of Louis XVI of France from 1774. It is specially fitted with a small keyboard. It could possibly have been made for Louise-Honorine, Duchesse de Choiseul (died 1801), who was herself unusually small. She was an accomplished player and had small furniture specially made for her. The case is decorated with japanned figures, in imitation of Japanese lacquer.