A viola by Paul Blanchard, Lyon 1895

Born in Mirecourt in France in 1851 Paul Blanchard learned his craft from several prominent French makers including J. B. Vuillaume. Around 1875, he moved to Lyon where he set up his own workshop after being appointed maker at the city’s music conservatory. Blanchard was a prolific maker for his time and it is estimated that he made around 1,200 instruments including cellos, violas and violins.

Influenced by Pierre Sylvester, his earlier instruments have thin purflings. After 1885, his instruments feature larger purflings, a shinier brighter varnish with his initials branded inside. Some of the last violins he produced up to his death in 1912 have much more of an off red varnish.

Price range: £25000 - £50000

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