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date: 25 January 2020

Britsen familylocked

  • Laurence Libin


Family of harpsichord makers in Antwerp.

fl. mid-17th century; a cabinet maker, he joined the Guild of St Luke in 1613 as a pupil of Melsen Ykens.

a cabinet maker as late as 1649, joined the Guild in 1655–6, at the same time as the harpsichord builder Gommaar van Everbroeck. Joris (i) and (ii) might have learned harpsichord making as employees of the Ruckers workshop.

joined the Guild in 1658–9.

joined the Guild in 1717.

Several extant harpsichords and virginals of various sizes, not dissimilar to contemporary ones of the Ruckers family and dated between 1675 and 1686, are ascribed to members of the family; Joris (iii) is credited with one harpsichord and two octave virginals. The name Joris is Latinized as ‘Georgius’ in their inscriptions. The Britsens are said also to have made lutes although this might be a confusion with lute registers....

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