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Chickering & Sons Clavichord (1909 reproduction)

About the Chickering & Sons Clavichord (1909 reproduction)

Built in Boston in 1909 by Chickering & Sons piano company under supervision of Arnold Dolmetsch, a pioneer in recreating historic instruments, this five-octave clavichord is unfretted; that is, each tangent strikes its own pair of strings. Within the vermilion lid is a gilded motto in French that means, roughly, "Make love not war" (Literally, "Better make sweetness than violence"), referring to the dulcet quality of music. Although based on Baroque designs and incorporating traditional materials including ebony and ivory on the keys, the instrument sports two floral soundhole rosettes in art nouveau style. Dolmetsch's work, like his artist-designer friend William Morris', grew out of the late Victorian Arts and Crafts movement; the painter Edward Burne-Jones was a member of their antiquarian circle.

Image of the Chickering and Sons Clavichord, 1909 reproduction