Jacob Kirkman British
Abraham Kirkman British

Not on view

Jacob Kirkman (anglicized form of Kirchmann) was a Swiss Alsatian who immigrated to England in the early 1730s and found employment with the harpsichord maker Hermann Tabel. After Tabel's death in 1738, Kirkman married his widow and took over his master's workshop materials and stock of harpsichords. Jacob later formed a partnership with his nephew Abraham, who later took his own son Joseph into the firm. The Kirkman firm was one of the finest and most prolific makers of keyboard instruments in England and in addition to harpsichords built pianos beginning in the late 18th century. As the piano became more popular the firm began to focus on building the newer instruments and built its last harpsichord in 1809.

Technical description: Oak case veneered on the exterior with mahogany panels surrounded by cross-grained mahogany banding and light stringing, with an exterior bottom molding of mahogany; the interior veneered in figured maple or sycamore with dark stringing; the keywell veneered in walnut burl, surrounded by cross-grain walnut banding, with dark and light stringing; lid of solid mahogany; on a stand of four square legs with stretchers, wooden casters; FF, GG-f3, 2x8 ', 1x4', buff stop on the back 8 '; ivory naturals with molded sycamore fronts, ebony accidentals; three-rail keyframe with front guide pins; jacks of pear with single flag dampers, bristle springs, quill plectra, and staples to limit rear travel of tongues; registers controlled by four brass knobs that protrude through the nameborad, and by a "machine stop" pedal that moves the front 8' and the 4' registers to their off position as long as it is depressed; cast metal rose in soundboard. (Laurence Libin)

#Vivace from Solo in G Major (Wq. 134) by C.P.E. Bach. from: Historic Instruments in Performance: porcelain flute, South German, ca. 1760; harpsichord by Jacob and Abraham Kirkman, London, 1781; James Bonn, and harpsichord; David Hart, flute. C.P.E. Bach, Poco adagio (from Sonata in a minor for unaccompanied transverse flute), Wq. 132. [M1808] (Pleiades Records)

Harpsichord, Jacob Kirkman (British, born Bischwiller, Alsace, France 1710–1792 Greenwich, England), Wood, various materials, British

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