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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
  • Antique Saxon master violin - 19th century, c.1870
  • 19th century Mittenwald violin. Neuner & Hornsteiner, approx. 1860
  • Raffaello Bozzi at Antonio Monzino: Italian violin, 1940's
  • Italian violin, Romedio Muncher, Cremona 1929
  • American violin by W. Wilkanowski, Brooklyn, 1938
  • H. Derazey: Fine French violin from the workshop of Jean-Joseph Honoré Derazey
  • Saxonian violin by master luthier Max Heiling
  • Old Markneukirchen violin from Schuster & Co., 1942
  • Antique Markneukirchen violin, probably Schuster & Co.
  • Antique Violin from Saxony, approx. 1870
  • Antique Markneukirchen violin of quality, c.1890
  • Markneukirchen master violin, 1940's
  • German student violin after Stradivari, from Bubenreuth
  • Giorgio Grisales: Modern Italian violin, Cremona (certificate Giorgio Grisales)
  • Northern German violin by Richard Berger, Stralsund
  • German violin from Mittenwald, 1970'ies
  • Contemporary master violin by Marc de Sterke
  • Interesting German post-war violin, Hopf workshop, Taunusstein-Wehen
  • Contemporary Italian violin by Giovanni Lazzaro, Padua 1990
  • Fine Mittenwald master violin, c.1740, Sebastian Klotz circle
  • Antique Czech master violin. A fine copy of Johann Georg Thir, c.1900
  • Antique French 3/4 violin. Probably J.T. L.
  • François Fent, a fine historic French viola of the late 18th century (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)
  • Marcello Martinenghi, 1949: Fine Italian viola (certificate Eric Blot)