Like many of his contemporaries who passed through the major workshops of Paris, Joseph Henry was born and received his early training in Mirecourt. He moved to Paris in 1837, at the age of 14, to work for Georges Chanot, where he produced workshop bows with the generic Chanot stamp. Henry later began to develop an individual ...Read More style through his work for Dominique Peccatte, with whom he often collaborated. By 1845 the basic outline of his bows is established in contrast to those of Peccatte: heads are somewhat more square and cheeks are flatter, frogs are shorter, and buttons are thicker and more flared toward the outer edge.
Around 1848 Peccatte returned to Mirecourt and Henry went into partnership with Pierre Simon, but the venture was short-lived. In 1851 he went back to working independently on the rue Vieux Augustins, where he produced some of his finest work. It is also possible that Henry was working for J.B. Vuillaume at this time, though his work would have been well above the grade of ordinary workshop bows. Starting in about 1855 he made a series of beautiful tortoiseshell-mounted bows for Gand frères, which stand out among his other work. Virtually all of Henry's considerable output is of very high-quality craftsmanship and elicits consistently favorable reviews from players.
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