Like many 17th century diplomats, Gerbier must have been accustomed to shopping expeditions on behalf of family, friends, and patrons at the court of Charles I. As well as his celebrated art-buying expeditions, he could find himself responding to requests for more unusual items, such as a font of metal type, or a barrel of fish. In 1638, Sir Francis Windebank, the Secretary of State to whom Gerbier reported as the King’s Resident in Brussels, asked him to find a new ‘Virginall’ for the Windebank family. To find out what happened and read the story as revealed in the State Papers, please click on this link. Windebank’s ‘Virginall’: a footnote to Gerbier’s diplomatic correspondence.