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Bazin’s grandchildren: bow making in turbulent times


The 2nd part of the history of the bow making dynasty Bazin in Mirecourt:
The 20th century. Charles Louis Bazin, Charles Alfred Bazin and René Bazin


In 1907, Charles Nicolas Bazin (Nicolas Bazin) turned over the leadership of his company to the youngest member of the family, his son Charles Louis Bazin (born 21 September 1881). Louis Bazin moved the atelier into an imposing new building on Rue Estivant in 1913, and two years later, Nicolas Bazin died on 6 December 1915. After World War I temporarily interrupted the prosperous business, Louis Bazin made further changes to his father’s bow model and expanded the trade in accessories. Starting in 1922, he was assisted by his son Alfred Bazin, who was born on 22 November 1907. Once again, a Bazin father and son ran the family business together until their operations were interrupted a second time by World War II. In 1945 Alfred Bazin opened his own atelier on Rue du Neuf Moulin in Mirecourt, although he also took over his father’s – now significantly smaller – company in 1952.

After enjoying a year of retirement, Louis Bazin died on 11 November 1953; following his death, Alfred Bazin continued to cut back business and no longer worked for violin makers, but only for a limited circle of exclusive customers. With the weight of the Bazin name behind him and a high degree of personal persistence, he succeed in having the word “archetier” entered into the dictionary of the French language as an official profession, and also had a street in Mirecourt named after his grandfather Nicolas Bazin. This great ancestor would certainly have been proud of his grandson’s dedication; as a town councillor the pater familias himself had always worked to promote the interests of his craft and his hometown. Perhaps Charles Nicolas Bazin' most important achievement was to have bow makers recognized as artisans, which meant that their compulsory military service was significantly reduced.

The circumstances of the times influenced the life of Alfred’s brother René Bazin (16 August 1906 - 30 December 1982) in a completely different way: after years of working independently in Mirecourt and Lille, in 1942 he was placed in the Stuttgart atelier of Fridolin Hamma as a prisoner of world war II. Following the end of the war, he remained there as an employee until 1948. After a short intermezzo in Suresnes near Paris, he settled in Munich in 1952, where he lived as a German citizen until his death – a European biography that was not at all common during those years.

Less than five years after the death of René Bazin, Alfred Bazin died on 24 March 1987, the last member of the great Bazin bow-making dynasty.


Related articles:

The fathers Bazin: The great name of Mirecourt bow making

Morizot, père et frères: the short history of a great family of bow makers

The Ouchard dynasty of bow makers

Mirecourt's new masters: contemporary violin makers in Mirecourt

Eugène Nicolas Sartory: the modern classic of bow making

François Nicolas Voirin and the new French violin bow

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