I need a rose for a TPW/Zuckermann French double harpsichord. I have two roses from Marc Vogel, French-style, and one by Hubbard, Ruckers-style and a bit larger than the Vogel. Here are them.

Marc Vogel, gilded:

Marc Vogel, ungilded:

Hubbard, gilded:

As you can see, the Vogel is a bit crude, lacking the details you can see on many professional’s roses. The Hubbard one is more refined but it still unsatisfactory to me.

So I have some questions:

  1. Is there any place I can purchase a better French-style rose? I’ve never seen the TPW or Zuckermann roses, are they any better?

  2. Maybe is there any harpsichord maker here on Jackrail who is willing to send me a couple of his/her roses? Of course, I’ll pay for them, and of course I’ll take away their initials (or they could take them away themselves before sending).

  3. Or, I could make it myself. I am able to carve the wax for making a tin/lead rose by the lost-wax technique, but I am not able to design it, so is there any sketch I could print and glue to the wax disk so I can follow the lines?

  4. Of course, if you have ideas, please share.

Many thanks.

There are some images on Google if you search on zhi harpsichord rose.


You could possibly ask this marvellous parchment rose maker if he extends to lead ones:

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On @hpschdNU 's web page he sells metal gilded TPW roses.

Since we are on lead roses, this may be of interest:

@domenico.statuto I find the roses you showed so crude that it is embarrassing. And yet old makers used such crude stuff. Not a trait worth copying in my view.

The nicest I have seen is by John Philips:

Yes it is beautiful. Even better to me a Tomlinson Rose:

I could ask Tomlinson, who does sell harpsichord parts (PEEK as well, for those interested), if he would consider modifying one of those to put my initials on. He lives in Canada, though, I guess shipping expenses would be conspicuous.

For the experienced ones: what about a 3D printing? With a 3D-printed rose I could:

  1. just gild the resin 3D-printed rose and put that on the harpsichord;
  2. use the resin 3d-printed rose to make a mould in red sand or modeling clay. After that, liquifying tin or lead, putting it in the mould etc would be simple, I have already done that in the past.

But, is the 3D printing capable of making the small details of a rose?
And, how to make a 3D file of a rose? I mean how to actually draw it? maybe with pencil on paper and then scan? or how?

Apart from the vanity thing: shouldn’t the rose be made out of lead as mentioned in the article shared by Andrew?

@domenico.statuto 3d printer resin is not heavy enough. The weight of the lead does have desirable acoustic effects, as @Chris415 has also said.

Re 3D printing, since roses are not flat you would have to use a modelling program such as Blender to create your design. Then there are a lot of steps to produce the files that a 3D printer can use, including specialized slicing software. 3D printing with the right material can do very fine detail. But this is a very huge area to get into for a rose. You’d be better off carving one in lime and making a lead casting, since you are not going to make dozens of them.

A very pretty rose from Jean Denis II:

Indeed, Ruckers roses are made of lead at 98%, O’Brien says. I was thinking about using the resin rose just to make a mould in which I would pour liquid lead. Andrew has discouraged me pursuing the 3D-printing route.

But I am a bit skeptical about the historical makers putting a rose for its weight. I know it’s an opinion shared by several makers, but then there are harpsichord with no rose, others with a parchment or wooden rose… Yes, those have a different tonal concept, but still I wonder.

Ok, too difficult, I abandon the 3D-printing route.

But I am not able to carve in lime nor in wax, and I still would need a printed drawing to glue on top of my lime piece, to follow the drawing, or I’d have to draw by pencil… if I was able.
I have written to mr Tomlinson to see if he is willing to send me a couple roses of him.

Here is the rose of my Franco Barucchieri (FB) double harpsichord:


It looks like she’s using a plectrum. I don’t know anything about this
kind of iconography. Does it mean anything?

(I like to imagine the local lute maker paying for product placement.)

There are many old depictions, both painted and sculpted, of lutes being played with plectra. I have no statistics to offer, but I have the impression that it was not in the least unusual in ‘olden dayes’.

Flickr has a group devoted to “pre-1800 musical instrument iconography”. If you can search withing this group’s fotos, you’ll find many examples.


I am no expert on lute history, but since they came from ouds basically, and all (modern) players use a plectrum, I’d have thought that technique would be very common or normal.

Now that is what I call a truly beautiful rose.

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I agree. Barucchieri lives and worked before retirement between Arezzo and Florence, plenty - and I mean plenty - of artists, carvers, decorators, gilders, foundries, etc etc.
The tuning key which went with the harpsichord is very beautiful too, I’ll post a picture later.

Here it is.

I think modern players usually use their fingers. Certainly, the French
players of the time did; Gaultier describes this in great detail. Also,
I kind of associate lute players with men, as an instrument of
professionals. So, here we have a rose with a woman playing a lute with
a plectrum, presumably symbolic of something, but what?