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Pierre Joseph Hel Violin, Lille, 1894

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Pierre Joseph Hel began his studies under the tutelage of Salazard at Mirecourt. When his studies were completed, he set up his shop at Lille in 1865.  25 years earlier, the 'New' French school of violin making had taken root established by the renowned violin maker Nicholas Lupot. It was this momentum and excitement in the industry, characterized by remarkably brilliant and quick to mature tonal qualities, that set the stage for Pierre Joseph Hel to excel.

This particular violin is an exceptional example of the master maker's work.  The beautiful one piece back is coated with an excellently applied French style oil varnish.  The instrument possesses an excellently balanced tonal register with the power and brilliance to soar above an ensemble when required.  A true master level instrument for the aspiring professional.

Learn more about: The French Violin Making Tradition

Price: $42,000

Size: 4/4

Country of Origin

French Violin Making

Mirecourt: The Center of Violin Making in France

Although the precise beginning of violin making in the northeastern French commune of Mirecourt has been lost to obscurity, there is no question that some of the greatest violin makers in history lived and worked in Mirecourt. In the 1600s, there were perhaps 50 luthiers, as the city was just beginning to forge its reputation. Precise recordkeeping was instituted during the 18th century, a necessity of the guild system that was helping transform Western Europe into an economic powerhouse.

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Jean Baptiste Vuillaume

Standing alongside Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri as one of history's greatest and most influential violinmakers, Jean Baptiste Vuillaume possessed an unusual array of qualities unique in the violinmaking world. Born in the famous French violinmaking center of Mirecourt in 1798, Jean Baptiste learned his craft well, first from his father, later from Fr. Chanot.

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Parisian Violin Making

The heart and soul of French violin making is actually Mirecourt, which is around 100 miles from Paris. It was the birthplace of most of the great violin makers of France. There, the famous European guild system firmly took hold, providing the training, support and resources necessary to develop skilled luthiers and fine quality instruments.

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Explore the workshops of Jerome Thibouville-Lamy and Laberte Humbert Frères.

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