Antwerp firm of hpd. and virginals makers between 1579 and 1667, the founder being Hans Ruckers (c.1550–1598). Over 100 Ruckers instr. still exist. The aim of the hpds. made between 1580 and 1650 was to offer the player some contrast of tone or register. The single‐manual instr. had a short‐octave compass of 4 octaves from C and had 2 sets of str., respectively 8′ and 4′. Ruckers also made 2‐manual hpds., probably as transposing device to help accompanists. Hans Ruckers was helped and succeeded by his sons Jan (1578–1643) and Andries (1579–c. 1645).