Jean Baptiste Vuillaume
Bow maker / Violin maker
(1798 – 1875)
In addition to being a renowned and prolific maker of fine violins, Jean Baptiste Vuillaume was a highly successful dealer, connoisseur and inventor. His workshop in Paris employed and trained some of the finest 19th-century violin and bow makers, including Maucotel, Silvestre, ...Read More Derazey, the Peccatte brothers, Persoit, Fonclause, Simon and Voirin. The workshop, which Vuillaume founded in the rue Croix des Petits Champs in 1827 and moved to the rue Demours-Ternes in 1858, produced over 3,000 instruments, which are similar and abundant enough to be readily identifiable. Most also bear a label, brand, number and signature identifying them as examples of the Vuillaume workshop.
Born in the violin making city of Mirecourt, Vuillaume moved to Paris in 1818 and apprenticed with Chanot before establishing his own workshop, where he began by imitating the work of Lupot. However, Vuilaume quickly gained skill as a copyist of older instruments, particularly those of Stradivari and Guarneri 'del Gesù', which coalesced with an early interest in violin dealing. In 1855 Vuillaume made the astute move to buy up the Italian dealer Luigi Tarisio's stock of 144 instruments, which included some of Stradivari's best works, not least the 'Messiah' of 1716. Among Vuillaume's more interesting inventions are the giant three-stringed octobass and the self-rehairing bow.
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