After the volume on Parisian guitars, we wished to pay tribute to luthiers of other regions of France and their talents. During our 40-year career, we have examined guitars made in Lille,Lyons, Troyes, Toulouse and Bordeaux, but mostly a considerable number of guitars made in Mirecourt and its area. Mirecourt is a small village in the Vosges area where in 1732, the Duke of Lorraine created a “charta of corporation” to regulate the professional uses of an activity in full development. Often anonymous, based on
more imaginative than luxurious constructing techniques, instruments made in Mirecourt are appreciated the world over and have been able to impose their particular style.
We tried to describe the social and professional functioning of a region entirely dedicated to the valorisation of one product: lutherie. We felt like telling how those poor men in the rural - but already industrious - Vosges set, starting in the 18th century, a remarkable professional system controlling in an autonomous way each stage of the construction of instruments; from the wood trade to the apprenticeship of the young, the finishing, the set-up and the sale of instruments and their accessories, by taking advantage of a solidarity network of travelling salesmen and dealers who sold the finished instruments to the most prestigious workshops in France and abroad.
We were touched by these luthiers, who, to answer an ever growing demand, constructed thousands of musical instruments which were not signed, leaving this care to the dealers or to their colleagues established in large cities. They have widely contributed to the spreading of French lutherie by the quality of their instruments,
even if, for commercial reasons, they preferred to remain modestly hidden in a comfortable family anonymity.
It is their guitars we would like to display here.
Now available at Edizioni Il Salabue : http://www.ilsalabue.com/lang1/index.html
Daniel Sinier & Françoise de Ridder