Queen Charlotte’s 1761 Jacob Kirkman Double-Manual Harpsichord

According to Sheridan Germann, “No more magnificent British harpsichord survives than this 1761 Jacob Kirkman, which was formerly Queen Charlotte’s (the wedding present from King George III)…” This instrument is said to have been played by the nine-year-old Mozart for the royal family at Buckingham House in 1764.

This is indeed one of the finest sounding English harpsichords in existence, and certainly among the lovelies to look at, with dark figures on a light background marquetry veneer in the key well and interior featuring scrolling foliage, Hapsburg eagles, angels playing trumpets, and a trophy of instruments in the center. The borders feature decorative dark banding with pale squares that are laburnum wood with the heart and sapwood both showing.


Listen to this instrument being played!