The harpsichord by Thomas Culliford (Longman & Broderip) from 1785 is one of the very few remaining English harpsichords in Italy. It is the only harpsichord by Culliford with a single manual, with its original registers and jacks and especially with its unchanged Machine stop. The restoration included a thorough cleaning and consolidation of unglued components, especially the cleaning of the soundboard and the consolidation of the inlay work on the front board. Some of the strings which were identified as being original were carefully documented and examined (see table of measurements of the original strings).
The diameters of the new strings correspond to the originals. The complex mechanism for turning on and off the various registers, both manually and with the help of the Machine stop, was carefully studied. The functionality of the complex mechanism was restored without adding or removing parts.
With the traditional hand stop registers it is possible to use the back 8' register, the front 8' register, the 4' register and the lute stop alone and in all combinations. The harp stop consists of a batten with pieces of leather which can only be activated manually. The Machine stop makes it possible to gradually engage and disengage the various registers while playing. The dynamic effects can be increased by using the 'Venetian swell' (a slatted lid above the soundboard which can be opened and closed) activated by the right pedal. The following register combinations, using the Machine stop activated using the left Pedal, are possible: with the pedal in the upper position: 4' + back 8' + front 8', slightly depressing the pedal: back 8' + front 8', pressing the pedal more: front 8' alone, pedal completely depressed: Lute register. A new set of jacks were made so to conserve the original unaltered.
Video of the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, Giovanni Togni during the recording with the English harpsichord by Thomas Culliford (Longman & Broderip) from 1785, Department of Musical Instruments in the Galleria dell'Accademia Florence
Sound Saples from the CD "The Expressive Harpsichord"
Domenico Scarlatti, Sonata F Major, K378 Clementi I (3'25)
Domenico Scarlatti, Sonata F Major, K380 Clementi III (6'07)
Giovanni Togni, Harpsichord Culliford (Longman & Broderip) 1785