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corilon violins

Couesnon: The third defining element in modern violin making in Mirecourt


On the history of the Couesnon company – Part 3 of our series on industrial production of stringed instruments in France

The golden age of industrial musical instrument production in Mirecourt, which started in the final quarter of the 19th century and lasted until the 1930s, created opportunities not only for J.T.L. and Laberte-Magnié. It also gave rise to another (inter)national company which was significant both in terms of its numbers as well as the quality of its products. In 1885 the Paris-based company Gautrot Ainé & Cie, which had forty years of experience in manufacturing woodwinds and brass instruments, began production of stringed instruments as well. It followed in Thibouville's footsteps, albeit at a much later date.

As had been the case at J.T.L., a former employee and student of Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume was involved in this business expansion. Maurice Mermillot was made the head of the factory for stringed instruments. The new company always maintained production sites in Paris and Mirecourt, and their manufacturing more or less ran along parallel lines to its major competitors — a constellation which led to many interesting shifts as employees transferred between factories. Some talented luthiers went from one rivalling company to another in a veritable game of musical chairs. Under Amédée Couesnon, who led Gautrot starting in 1887 and eventually gave the company its new name, Georges Cherpitel was wooed away from Thibouville-Lamy in 1901. Like Laberte, Couesnon also saw the growing need for premium stringed instruments, and in 1913 he secured the necessary technical expertise by merging with the highly esteemed atelier of Léon Bernardel. One can see how competitive the environment was by the fact that another top-ranking employee switched — Eugène Vincent Génod, who worked with Laberte for many years until he joined Couesnon in 1927.


Related articles:

On the history of industrial factories in Mirecourt

The end of the great instrument-making companies in Mirecourt

Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy - J.T.L.

The Laberte family companies

Bazin: the great name of Mirecourt bow making

Chanot: Savoir-faire - The Chanot family of luthiers

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

Mirecourt's new masters: contemporary violin makers in Mirecourt

New arrivals in our catalogue
  • Attractive Bohemian / Czech violin,  approx. 1920
  • Modern handmade Markneukirchen violin, approx. 1980
  • Antique French violin from Mirecourt, approx. 1900
  • German Violin by Braun & Hauser München, approximately 1900
  • Interesting violin op. 13 by Alajos Werner, Budapest, 1910
  • Fine violin by Ernst Heinrich Roth, 1962 (certificate E. H. Roth)
  • Antique French Mirecourt violin, c.1880 after J. B., Vuillaume - warm, sweet tone
  • 19th century French violin, approx. 1880
  • German quality violin, Mittenwald style
  • Powerful 1930's Markneukirchen violin, Guarnerius model - birdseye maple
  • H. Emile Blondelet, old French violin, No. 235, made 1924
  • WORKED OVER AND IMPROVED: Johann Georg Schönfelder: fine Markneukirchen violin, c1790
  • Rare "Ritter viola", viola alta, Markneukirchen, c.1910
  • Excellent sounding old Markneukirchen violin, approx. 1940
  • 3/4 - fine French 3/4 violin from Mirecourt, approx. 1880
  • German student violin, approx. 1940
  • Master violin of unknown origin, c.1960/1970, Galimberti copy
  • Rare 5 string viola, masterpiece by Louis Dölling Jr., Markneukirchen, 1932
  • 3/4 - attractive old 1950's Markneukirchen 3/4 violin
  • WORKED OVER AND OPTIMIZED: Giulio Cesare Gigli, fine 18th century Italian violin, approx. 1760 (certificate Etienne Vatelot)
  • Bubenreuth violin, Bernd Dimbarth No. 64
  • WORKED OVER AND OPTIMIZED: Ernst Heinrich Roth, 1922: Markneukirchen, master violin after Guarnerius
  • Good Mittenwald violin, Johann Reiter 1961
  • Antique Hopf violin of Klingenthal, approx. 1840