CLAVICHORDS OF UNCERTAIN ORIGIN
M.7X. FRANCE: Ad Libitum Collection.
Photos: Alain Roudier
Sources of information: Lothar Bemmann, personal communication, 2011; Norberto Broggini, private communication 2017; Alain Roudier, private communication, 2017; clip on Youtube (see below).
Anon., Latin America or Spain, 18C or 19C.
C.D.E–c3: 47 notes. Fretting starts : f–f#; g–g#; a–bb; thence uncertain.
Compartments to left and right of keys. Naturals light coloured, possibly box, sharps dark brown with darts of lighter wood.
No. of bridges: 3, straight, perpendicular to spine, non-original.
No hold-downs present, though they may once have been.
False inner-outer, the 'outer' case of dark brown wood.
The owner bought the instrument from an antique dealer in France. It has been extensively restored: in particular the soundboard and bridges are new. The style of the keylevers, with only one bend rather than two, is not exactly like any other Latin-American clavichord identified so far (P.4 from Cuzco, Peru, comes closest); it is reminiscent of some Italian clavichords. There is a little drawer placed centrally below the keys, which is similar to that found on an anonymous Italian clavichord in the Boston Museum of Fine Art collection (No. 17.1796). The decoration on the sharp keys, on the other hand, could suggest Spain. On the inside of the lid there is a badly worn printed label, on which the words Na ... DE VALLIVANA can just be discerned beneath a device possibly of religious or heraldic significance. Vallivana (Vallibana/Vallibona) is a small village near Morella in the province of Castellón in Eastern Spain.
Photo: Alain Roudier
Detail from the label on the lid
A recording, for issue in 2017 on the Ad Libitum label, has been made on this instrument by Norberto Broggini. For more information, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jPdJ7sinE8. See also Norberto Brogginis page on Facebook.