Flemish Muselaar, Ruckers School
A virginal is a harpsichord in oblong or polygonal shape with the strings running from right to left at a shallow angle and the jacks coming right up through the soundboard. The Ruckers and their contemporaries made virginals with three different placements of the keyboard, each of which plucked the strings in a different location. The spinet virginal had its keyboard all the way to the left, plucking near the left bridge and producing a sound close to the normal harpsichord. The virginal with its keyboard in the center was quite rare - only a few examples are known.
The muselaar virginal, with its keyboard to the right, plucks the strings in a more central position, producing a unique sound that is attractively tubby in the bass and flutey in the treble. It was the most commonly-made Flemish virginal, and despite a retrospective remark of an observer from 100 years later that "muselaars grunted in the bass, like young pigs," the Ruckers builders probably sold more muselaars than anything else. Our instrument is uncompromising, with a four-octave, short-octave compass and typical Ruckers decoration. It is the perfect instrument for the 17th-century Spanish, Dutch, and English harpsichord literature.
||45 notes: c/e-c''' (short octave); A415
||app. 68" x 20"
||app. 88 lbs
||keyboard with bone naturals, oak sharps, arcades of embossed leather; pearwood jacks
||case in lime or basswood; Swiss pine soundboard
- Antique style music wire
- Soundboard decoration
- Decorative rose in the soundboard
- Traditional decoration with Flemish papers on the interior of the case and faux marble on the exterior
- Lid stick and music desk matched to the stand
- Dust cover
- Melon-shaped or other stand
- Padded cover
Signed D. Jacques Way.