Longman & Broderip  Double Manual Harpsichord ca.1788




Double-manual English harpsichord (made probably by Thomas Culliford for Longman & Broderip firm) in mahogany case on trestle stand with two pedals operating 'machine' stop and lid swell.


Thomas Culliford’s daughter Mary married Charles Barrow, who afterwards became Culliford’s business partner, and their daughter Elizabeth was the mother of Charles Dickens (who is therefore the harpsichord maker’s great-grandson).


Longman & Broderip Harpsichord which belonged to Georg Washington


Sold by Longman & Broderip
London, 1782–1793
Mahogany with veneers and secondary woods; ivory

Nelly’s life changed when George Washington was elected president and the family moved first to New York and then to Philadelphia, following the federal government’s headquarters. City life provided Nelly with excellent educational opportunities, including music lessons begun at age ten. Washington ordered this top-of-the-line double-manual harpsichord for her from London in 1793. Nelly was regularly called upon to entertain family, friends, and guests in the executive residence and at Mount Vernon. When the family returned to Virginia after Washington’s second term in office, Nelly wrote with enthusiasm to a friend, “When my Harpsichord comes, I shall practice a great deal, & make my Sister sing your parts of our Duetts.”

Bequest of Esther M. Lewis, 1859 [W-16]



I must observe, that the Germans work much better out of their own country, than they do in it, if we may judge by the harpsichords of Kirkman and Shudi; the piano-fortes of Backers; and the organs of Snetzler; which far surpass, in goodness, all the keyed instruments that I met with, in my tour through Germany.


Charles Burney 1772