Mobile menu
A group surrounds a harpsichord playing instruments

Many members of the royal family were talented musicians

Burkat Shudi (1702-73)

Two-manual harpsichord 1740

RCIN 11896

Queen's Drawing Room, Kew Palace

Your share link is...


Swiss-born keyboard instrument maker Burkat Shudi came to London in 1718. He was employed by Frederick, Prince of Wales as a tuner and supplied two spinets in 1751 for the young Prince George and his sister Augusta. This is one of the earliest of Shudi's harpsichords to survive. It was originally a claviorgan, with an organ fitted in its lower section. Shudi made instruments with the organ-builder John Snetzler (1710–85) and Handel is thought to have used one in performing his oratorio Saul in 1738.

Learn more about the harpsichord in this short film: