Friday, November 6, 2009

Pleyel harpsichord

I am currently engrossed in the restoration of a Pleyel harpsichord for the Harpsichord Clearing House.
The restoration of a Pleyel is not for the faint of heart, particularly when the instrument has undergone an earlier, poor quality restoration.
Unfortunately, the earlier restorer saw it fit to use a non water soluble glue to glue the remnants of the original leather plectra into the tongues.  A hole was then drilled through the plectra, and a round, Neupert style plectra subsequently inserted.  It was necessary for me to make and install approximately 75 new tongues, as several of the originals were either split, missing, or poorly drilled during the earlier "restoration."
In fact, a great deal of the work I have thus far done has been the correcting and complete undoing of some truly horrendous work, performed by a less than competent restorer.
Pictured here is the re-attachment of the treble section 16' nut, which had become unglued. Slowly but surely, the instrument is rumbling back to life.