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date: 14 November 2019

Player, John locked

  • Anne Beetem Acker


(b Gloucestershire, England, 1636; d London, England, June 16, 1707). English keyboard instrument maker, active in London. The son of a shepherd from Longborough, Gloucestershire, on 24 June 1650 he was apprenticed for seven years to the maker Gabriel Townsend in London. Player became a freeman of the Joiners’ Company in June 1658, married Elizabeth Slough (Sloe) in 1662, and became a master of the Joiners’ Company in 1684.

His only known virginal (1664; GB.HAT.cobbe) is branded with the letters ‘WP’, indicating it was owned by Charles II at Whitehall Palace. Its compass is 56 notes, G′–d′. The soundboard is decorated with two gilt geometric roses and painted flowers, reportedly by the same painter of the two surviving Stephen Keene virginals and the 1671 Philip Jones virginal at Tabley House in Cheshire. By 1700 Player had apparently ceased making virginals and had begun to make fashionable bentside spinets. Several of these are known, most incorporating split notes in the extreme bass and having a plain oak or walnut case. (Examples, all undated, are at ...

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