DECORATION VII: MarblingEntire Contents Copyright © 2011 CBH
|1640 Andreas Ruckers, Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments||Modern Flemish-style harpsichord with marbled exterior|
One of the most common factory-standard decoration schemes for the exterior of Flemish harpsichords and virginals involved an unbroken band of imitation marble around the entire case, with larger panels on the top of the lid and flap. There was no real attempt to exactly duplicate the appearance of a genuine cut and polished stone surface. Rather, it was a simply-executed splash of color which close inspection could even reveal as crude.
The three videos below demonstrate a method of marbling using oil-based paints, then varnishing and lining. Always read the accompanying technical description.
The case is primed and the extent of the marble marked out and taped. After marbling, the top and bottom bands of case color are painted and the case varnished. Finally, the thin trompe-l’œil lines—tinted lighter and darker from the case color—are drawn.
|Marbling the harpsichord
Time-lapse of Carey Beebe marbling the spine of a Ruckers Double Harpsichord.
|Hand-rubbed varnishing the marbled harpsichord
Carey Beebe hand-rubbing the first coat of varnish on the marbled Ruckers Double Harpsichord cheek.
|Lining the marbled harpsichord exterior
Carey Beebe delineating the exterior marbled areas of the Ruckers Double Harpsichord
|Technical Library overview|
|Harpsichords Australia Home Page|