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Whale & Martin

John Felberg - Peter Whale - Nick Martin

A Brief History of Harpsichord Making

In the mid 1950ís there was a general revival of interest in Baroque style music and therefore an increase in demand for traditional instruments like the harpsichord.

John Felberg set up his business, John Felberg Workshop, building harpsichords during the mid 50ís. Originally he built his instruments under licence out of kits produced by German musical instrument manufacturer Neupert. He then started developing his own designs and building his own instruments. Around this time there was a movement towards developing new instrument designs, improving and modernising the traditional 18th Century designs. John Felberg was a leading light in the development of these new hibrid instruments. From about 1970 to date, harpsichord construction has returned to producing faithful reproductions of the original 18th Century instruments.

Peter Whale at work in Bradbourne Road, Sevenoaks. Circa 1962
Peter Whale at work - Circa 1970's

After his untimely death, John Felbergís widow Ann and Peter Whale kept the business going. Nick Martin joined from school in 1978 as an apprentice. Peter Whale and Nick set up Whale & Martin in 1981. Peter Whale retired in 1986 and Nick continued to operate out of Bradbourne Road, Sevenoaks, Kent. In 1989 he successfully relocated the business to Lincolnshire.

Whale & Martin - Bradbourne Road, Sevenoaks. - Circa 1980's
Whale & Martin - Bradbourne Road - Circa 1980's

Ann Felberg now lives in Minehead in Somerset and, with the help of an annual visit from Nick, maintains a collection of about 20 Felberg instruments.

Click on harpsichord to hear an example of an instrument

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