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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
  • French violin bow, c.1900, atelier Charles Nicolas Bazin
  • Powerful German violin bow by H.R. Pfretzschner, silver
  • Old French violin bow, J.T.L. for Pierre Hel
  • French violin by H. Emile Blondelet, No. C7, 1924
  • English violin by Jeffery J. Gilbert, 1906
  • Czech master violin by Carolus Joseph Dvorak, Prague 1940
  • SALE Victor Fétique. Fine French violin bow, approximately 1930 – round stick (certificate by J. F. Raffin)
  • SALE Eugène Nicolas Sartory: Fine French violin bow (certificate J.-F. Raffin) - investment
  • Fine, petite Mittenwald viola by Anton Jais c.1790 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)
  • Stefano Conia, modern Italian viola, Cremona 1985 (certificate Stefano Conia)
  • 3/4 - 19th century Mittenwald 3/4 violin, approx. 1880
  • WORKED OVER AND OPTIMIZED Cristiano Ferrazzi, Verona: Italian violin op. 120 - Violinist's recommendation!
  • H. Derazey workshop, fine 19th century French violin
  • Mittenwald master violin by Karl Sandner, 1968
  • French violin #316 by René Morizot (certificate by Rene Morizot)
  • Rare violin by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789
  • WORKED OVER AND IMPROVED Fine violin of the Thir circle / school, approx. 1750 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)
  • Fine French 3/4 violin bow, c.1920
  • Silver mounted violin bow. 1950's, Markneukirchen
  • WORKED OVER AND IMPORVED 3/4 Master violin, Germany, after Stradivari
  • Antique German violin bow, c.1910 - mellow, sweet tone
  • French violin bow, Mirecourt, probably J.T.L., approx. 1920
  • Georges Coné: Fine French violin no. 73. Lyon, 1937 - violinist's recommendation!
  • Master violin by Erwin Georg Volkmann, 1975 - violinist's recommendation!