François-Étienne Blanchet (1695 -1761) was the most famous member of a family of instrument makers which influenced French harpsichord building decisively during the 18th century. His father, Nicolas Blanchet (born in 1660), a native of Reims, set up his workshop in Paris and started making harpsichords and spinets. Besides making new instruments in his workshop in the rue de la Verrerie, François-Étienne also extended the compasses of early Flemish harpsichords of the Ruckers family (mettre à grand ravalement) to 5 octaves in accordance with thecontemporary trend.
François-Étienne Blanchet was also the master of Pascal Taskin, the most eminent French maker of harpsichords during the second half of the 18th century. After the death of François-Étienne‘s son in 1766 (who bore the same name as his father), Pascal Taskin married his widow and led the tradition of harpsichord making to a last climax. Among the surviving instruments made by Blanchet, there is only one single manual harpsichord left, which was rediscovered a few years ago in France. This instrument, built in 1737 by François-Étienne Blanchet, is the original for our copy.