Alfred James Hipkins

1 portrait

Alfred James Hipkins, by Edith J. Hipkins, 1898 - NPG 2129 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Alfred James Hipkins

by Edith J. Hipkins
oil on canvas, 1898
26 1/2 in. x 31 1/2 in. (673 mm x 800 mm)
Given by Edith J. Hipkins, 1926
Primary Collection
NPG 2129

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Hipkins entered Broadwood's factory in 1840 at the age of fourteen and became fascinated by historic keyboard instruments. The author of Musical Instruments, Historic, Rare and Unique (1881), he gave lectures and demonstrations on the subject. The harpsichord upon which he is depicted playing the Goldberg variations of Bach in this portrait by his daughter Edith is likely to be the Kirkman which she presented to the Royal College of Music in 1903. The pictures on the wall are of instruments discovered or described by Hipkins and the A439 tuning fork commemorates his work in restoring this pitch in England.

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