Vincent Tibaut 1691

The son of Jean Tibaut, a master carpenter in Nantes, he was born in Coyron around 1647. In 1673 he obtained a carpenter’s diploma in Toulouse, where he settled. Here he worked as a cabinetmaker and harpsichord maker; special note goes to the fact that documents of the time refer to his profession only as carpenter and cabinetmaker. He died in December 1691, leaving a widow (his second wife) with three very young children and four children from a first marriage. He is one of the very rare 17th-century French harpsichord makers known to exist; the instruments that survive today are three in number and have in common that they have a case without painted decoration, while the joinery (walnut case) is very fine for two of them (1679 and 1681), especially on the inside, thanks to fine inlay work. All three are double manual. The 1679 harpsichord is on display at the Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels. Sculptures of lions are placed at the end of each keyboard. The range is four and a half octaves (G to C). The keys are ebony with trefoil-carved faces, and the sharps are ivory. The phonic arrangement is 1×4′ 2×8′, while the front bears the inscription Fait par moy Vincent Tibaut Tolose 1679, the base is built with 8 twisted legs. The 1681 harpsichord is part of the private collection of Yannick Guillou. It is very similar to the previous one, including the pedestal. The front bears the inscription Fait par Vincent Tibaut A Tolose 1681. The 1691 harpsichord is in the Musée de la Musique in Paris. Unlike its predecessors, it is in original condition (but degraded by a long stay in the attic) and has not been restored so that the historical information that can be gleaned does not disappear, thanks to the in-depth study that it was possible to make from the latter itself we were able to construct a perfect reproduction of the woodwork and the phonic part.