R31 Completed August 2012 – SOLD

R31- Completed August 2012

R31- Completed August 2012

Michael Johnson’s Flemish instruments are closely based on the scaling and plucking points taken from the 1637 Andreas Ruckers in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, (Inv. No. MIR 1073)

This instrument was chosen because it is one of the few surviving Ruckers harpsichords that have been almost unaltered.

The compass on this single manual has however been extended from the original C/E-c3 to GG-d3 chromatic and in order to keep as close as possible to the original case dimensions, a narrower 18th century French octave span of 161mm has been used. This did require a new master template and plans to be drawn in order to achieve the necessary compression.

All Michael Johnson instruments have two 8ft choirs plus a 4ft (2×8+4)   There is also a buff stop working on back  8ft choir on this harpsichord.   Moving the shaped blocks at the bass or treble end of the keyboard will allow the keyboard to transpose giving A392 or A440 from A415 however, there is a loss of the extreme note from whatever transposition has been made.

Poplar has been used for all of the scantlings and framing on this instrument; a wood very much favoured by the Flemish 17th century makers.   The soundboard has been made from spruce (Picea Abies) originating from Austria which has been air dried in 7mm boar

ds for 26 years.    All of the bridges and nuts have been made from beech and the oak tuning pin plank veneered with soundboard spruce.     The keyboard shafts are made in poplar with casein ivory veneer used for the natural covers; ebony has been used for the accidentals.   Jack blanks are made in beech and hornbeam used for the tongues.     Peek is the material used for the tongue return spring and the delrin plectra made from 1mm sheet with a 2 degree taper to the underside of the plectra.

Mottoes have been used on the inside lids and they translate.


The ears are the windows to the soul


Music is a sweet comfort for great sorrows

The stand is made in two parts to collapse for ease of transport.    The front trestle has four turnings and the ladder with added tail has seven turnings.

This instrument is supplied with a David Law tuning key and a fitted transport cover.


Length: 79 inches / 206 cms

Width: 34 inches / 86.3 cms

Depth: 11.5 inches / 9.3 cms

This design was created in the year 2000 and has been the total concentration of the Johnson workshop since that year. The reference number R- – is used for all instruments with a compass of GG – d3 that includes both single and double manual instruments.    The serial reference of FF– is used solely for double manual instruments with a compass of FF-f3.