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More detailed information about stringed instruments and the history of violin making.


The end of the great instrument-making companies in Mirecourt


The decline and fall of the industrial production of stringed instruments in France –
the fourth and final chapter of our series

The factories in Mirecourt began to weaken during the Great Depression and were especially affected by the outbreak of the Second World War and Germany's invasion of France. In the post-war era they were no longer able to attain their former strength. J.T.L., Laberte Magnié and Couesnon all met an end at nearly the same time. The flagging demand during the hardships which afflicted mid-century Europe was not the only reason why these companies could not resume where they had left off. Instead, industrial instrument-making underwent massive and rapid progress in technical innovations, and the weakened giants of Mirecourt could not efficiently hold their own.

New centres of industry elsewhere in Europe and overseas became more and more important, and within an alarmingly short time, all three French companies discontinued production in the late 1960s. First Couesnon was forced to declare bankruptcy in May 1967, followed by J.T.L. closing its factories in 1968, and finally Laberte shut down after no successor could be found when Philippe Laberte died in 1969. Of the three, only the name J.T.L. was to survive the collapse of the industry, and it lives on as a brand name under the management of a company in Woodford Green, UK.



Related articles:

On the history of industrial manufactories in Mirecourt

Mirecourt: the spacious home of French violin making

The Laberte family companies

Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy - J.T.L.

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

Bazin: the great name of Mirecourt bow making

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

Mirecourt's new masters: contemporary violin makers in Mirecourt

New arrivals in our catalogue
  • 3/4 -Antique 3/4 violin from Mittenwald, c.1880
  • Charles Louis Bazin: fine and powerful French cello bow (certificate J.-F. Raffin)
  • SALE: Old Mittenwald violin, J. A. Baader, c.1900
  • Bohemian student violin, c.1960/1970
  • 3/4 - warm and resonant sounding French 3/4 violin
  • SALE: Modern Italian violin, Piero Virdis, Pattada 2002 (certificate Piero Virdis)
  • SALE: Fine 18th century violin, Franz Knitl, Freising, 1769
  • Magnificent French violin, François Caussin, Neufchateau approx. 1850 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)
  • TONALLY IMPROVED: Fine violin by Ernst Heinrich Roth, 1962 (certificate E. H. Roth)
  • Fine quality viola by Ernst Heinrich Roth, 1958
  • 1/2 - Mittenwald violin, Sebastian Hornsteiner, 1970
  • 3/4 - small antique 3/4 sized Mittenwald violin, Eugen Gärtner stock
  • Fine 18th century violin, Klotz circle, approx. 1790 (certificate Hieronyms Köstler)
  • Christoph Götting, contemporary elite master violin
  • Giovanni Lazzaro, Padova 1990: Italian violin
  • Modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941
  • Italian violin, Luigi Vistoli, Lugo 1943 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)
  • Raffaello Bozzi,  Milano, 1939: Italian violin (certificate Cesare Magrini)
  • Old Italian violin, Officina Claudio Monteverde, Cremona 1921
  • Hopf, Klingenthal, early violin approx. 1800
  • Violin op. 13 by Alajos Werner, Budapest, 1910
  • Excellent French violin, Collin-Mézin (fils), 1947, "Le Victorieux", No. 120
  • H. Emile Blondelet, French violin, No. 235
  • SALE: French violin No. 73, Chenantais & Le Lyonnais, Nantes, 1933