Not much can be said with certainty about the oldest organ. It is believed that the Bovenkerk came into the possession of a large organ built by Johan van Kovelens (or J. van Covelen) between 1520 and 1523. The oldest pipework in the organ (especially the 4′ and 2′ flutes of the Bovenwerk) probably comes from Jan Morlet (1629).
In 1676 Jan Slegel completed a new organ, using materials from the old organ. In the years 1694-1712 Johan Duyschot made some changes and had the organ in maintenance.
Albertus Anthoni Hinsz carried out extensive work on the organ in the years 1741 – 1743: he designed a new case, renovated all the wind channels, the drawers and the government work. The existing disposition was also expanded somewhat on this occasion. This made it the largest organ made by Hinsz.
In the years 1788/1790 H.H. Freytag and F.C. Schnitger Jr. a free pedal of 8 voices and added a Borstwerk of 4 voices playable from the Bovenwerk keyboard. They placed the Dulcian 8′ of the Rugwerk on this new Borstwerk, and a Bassoon 16′ was placed on the vacant place in the Rugwerk.
During the nineteenth century, the organ builders Van Gruisen, Scheuer and Naber worked on the instrument. In 1866 the Kamper organ maker Zwier van Dijk gave the Borstwerk its own keyboard. He also added some voices.
The major restoration (from 1967-75) was carried out by the organ maker Bakker & Timmenga in Leeuwarden. The most important question was which disposition should be taken as the starting point: that of 1790, or that of before 1866. A solution was eventually chosen in which it turned out to be possible to maintain eight registers from around 1820/1866.
This organ can be ordered with all our Cambiare organs through supplier Milan Digital Audio.