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date: 22 October 2019


  • John Koster
  •  and Gerhard Doderer


Portuguese family of harpsichord and piano makers . Manuel Antunes (1707–96) and Joaquim José Antunes (1731–1811), the only children of Julião Antunes, a maker of string instruments who served in the royal chapel, shared a workshop in Lisbon. Two harpsichords, dated 1758 (in the Museu da Música, Lisbon) and 1785 (in the Finchcocks collection, Goudhurst, Kent), are signed by J.J. Antunes. Other Antunes instruments are signed only with the surname, including a grand piano of 1767 (in the Shrine to Music Museum, Vermillion, South Dakota) and a harpsichord of 1789 (in the Museu da Música, Lisbon); these were presumably made by both brothers working together. The harpsichords each have a single manual with two 8′ stops. In 1760 Manuel Antunes received a ten-year privilege for making pianos. The surviving example is virtually identical to Antunes harpsichords in design and construction, except for its action, which is very similar to that of Bartolomeo Cristofori. Manuel's grandson, João Baptista Antunes (...

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E. Vieira, ed.: Diccionário biográphico de musicos portuguezes (Lisbon, 1900)
D.H. Boalch: Makers of the Harpsichord and Clavichord 1440 to 1840