Vuillaume, Jean Baptiste

1798-1875

 

Celebrated violin-maker; born at Mirecourt, where his ancestors had carried on the art of violin-making. After some instruction from his father he went to Paris in 1818. There he studied under his fellowtownsman Chanot, later under Lete, with whom he subsequently entered into partnership. In 1828 he became independent of Lete, and his instruments, made in imitation of the Antonio Stradivari violins, brought him fame and medals both from the London and Paris Exhibitions. He owned one of the most beautiful Stradivari violins. One of his inventions was a new kind of viola, very powerful and full-toned, which he called the contralto. Another was a monster doublebass, descending a third lower than the doublebass, one of which is preserved in the Museum of the Paris Conservatory. He also invented a machine for the manufacture of pure strings and another for the construction of bows. He died in Paris.