My close friend Ann Mactaggart, who has died aged 86, expended a selection of years doing the job as an art and domestic science instructor in advance of transferring into the antiques company and then making use of her artistic capabilities to turn into an specialist on harpsichord restoration. She was also a wonderful dressmaker, and wrote a ebook on the topic that was common at residence and overseas.
Ann was born in Bath as the only boy or girl of Bob Lewis, a paper mill salesman, and Joan (nee Gamble), a milliner. She experienced an uncommon upbringing, residing in Kent on the yacht Esmeralda, which was moored in the Gravesend canal basin, in advance of moving on to dry land at the outdated Harbour Master’s Household in the village of Axmouth in Devon, where the boat was moored together with.
Soon after secondary college she experienced a time period doing the job as a clerk for Barclays Financial institution, then in the late 1950s did trainer coaching at Bath Academy of Art’s Corsham College web page in Wiltshire, later on turning into an art and domestic science trainer in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, so as to be close to her grandparents. There she satisfied Peter Mactaggart, who labored in his family’s antique organization. They married in 1963 and at some point Ann gave up educating to join the organization. Her creative skills were nicely used there, and as effectively as going off with Peter on acquiring trips, she took up the upholstery and french sprucing side of the procedure.
As a trainer Ann, who was an attained seamstress, had taught stitching and dressmaking, compiling extensive and beautifully illustrated notes to enable her pupils. When she experienced still left that line of work, Peter prompt she should really make the notes into a e-book, and the outcome was Dressmaking in Depth, posted in 1975. It went to many editions, equally in the British isles and further afield.
The antiques small business closed down on the dying of Peter’s father in 1970, and Peter and Ann then devoted by themselves to restoration work, turning out to be effectively known for their perform on harpsichords. Ann became so qualified that she was commissioned to structure and execute the painted decoration of new examples, such as for the celebrated instrument maker David Rubio.
Among quite a few specialities was the printing of papers for the decoration of copies of harpsichords designed by customers of the Ruckers relatives of Antwerp Ann drew out the styles, Peter carved them into picket blocks and alongside one another they printed them on a Harold hand-operated press. Their wonderfully produced papers were being marketed to harpsichord builders all over the world for a lot of yrs.
The Mactaggarts have been exacting in all they did, and took fantastic curiosity in discovering specifically which pigments experienced been applied for painted decorations on the various harpsichords they restored. Afterwards they ran 7 days-extensive pigment identification courses that had been attended by restorers from all above the world.
Together they also wrote Useful Gilding (1985), which is however in print and advertising perfectly.
Peter died in 2020.