Wanda Landowska Harpsichord

    Landowska Harpsichord  sculptured gothic harpsichord.

   Painting attributed to Verrocchio, 15/16th century, inside the lid probably cut out of its frame and mounted on harpsichord lid (Sunday Times, TV Times, 1.6.75)
    Featured in Musical America 15.2.55 edition.
   Bought at auction,  16th century Italian.  According to the donor who purchased this valuable instrument in 1971, it belonged to the Wanda Landowska collection. Its history is otherwise unknown, but sources say she performed her first recital on this instrument (RDM 4.11.71) in 1912. 
   Renaissance painting on lid.  Delicate Gothic oak carvings and three stop-slides placed to the right of the keyboard.  Range 5 octaves. On the soundboard is inscribed Musica Laetitiae Comes, Medicine Dolorum.  Restored in Paris by 92-year-old, one of the few craftsmen who could be entrusted with this work. Plencrum units damaged in transit and restored by H. Schilling (Opus, July 72)
 Probably the instrument mentioned in Wanda Landowska's autobiography as her favourite instrument. (Star, 21.11.72)
   Mainly because the owner wanted to see the instrument played on instead of remaining silent in  the glass case of a museum, sold through Alain Vian (Paris antique instrument dealer) to Mr Adler. Three special ivory buttons at the side  of the keyboard enables the registration and tone colour of the harpsichord to be changed. 


  1. It is with great pleasure to see Landowska's beloved Italian instrument safe in South Africa! I am also given to understand that the muselaar from her collection is now in Brussels. As everyone is aware, the Nazis stole Landowska's library and collection of rare instruments and hid them in a salt mine for retrieval after the war. I was fearful that these treasures were destroyed decades ago. Thank you for posting, Dr. Adler.

  2. very very cool to see such artifacts from the past. Thanks for posting this. I love the artwork on the piano. foxnews.com/activate

  3. Bravo! Thank you so much for this lovely piece. I learnt a lot from this. Please do not relent. Worth every second spent reading. I look forward to yet another mastermind.