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Harpsichord: M.1-2017

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Object information

Awaiting location update


Maker: Shudi, Burkat




Single-manual harpsichord, compass F-F, 5 octaves, with 2 x 8’ (unison) stops, no. 260. The underside of the soundboard is inscribed: ‘Burkat Shudi No. 260 Fecit Londini 1751’.


History note: Professor Robin Orr, Cambridge; his widow Doris Orr

Legal notes

Accepted in Lieu of Inheritance Tax by HM Government from the estate of Doris Orr in memory of Robin Orr, Composer, Emeritus Professor and holder of the Chair of Music in the University of Cambridge from 1965-1976, and previously holder of the Gardiner Chair of Music in the University of Glasgow, and allocated to the Fitzwilliam Museum, 2016

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Allocated (2017-01-21) by H.M. Government


18th Century, Mid
Production date: AD 1751


This rare instrument, which is signed, dated and numbered ‘260’, is representative of the smaller type of single-manual English harpsichords with which the Museum’s Founder, Viscount Fitzwilliam, would have been familiar. Swiss-born but London-based Shudi was one of the two most prestigious harpsichord builders working in Georgian England. It does not have the swell ‘shutters’ that Shudi patented later on in 1769, nor a second (upper) manual, nor 4 foot stop that larger Shudi (and Shudi / Broadwood) harpsichords have.

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: ‘Burkat Shudi No. 260 Fecit Londini 1751’
  • Type: Maker's name

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.1-2017
Primary reference Number: 214018
Instrument number: 260
Old loan number: AAL.2-2016
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Wednesday 1 February 2017 Updated: Monday 5 February 2024 Last processed: Monday 5 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Harpsichord" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-12 21:26:02

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{{cite web|url= |title=Harpsichord |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-12 21:26:02|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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