Summary

There is little documentation on Jules LAVEST and, until recently, no biographical information was available about his life. His name is not mentioned in either of the two main dictionaries of violin and bow makers.
Reasons for this lack of interest in his life are certainly related to the fact that Jules LAVEST was not a violin maker in his own right, but a violin dealer.


Biography

Career
Jules LAVEST established a shop in Montluçon and was active in the violin market, if we refer to his labels, from 1920 to 1950.

Works
Considering the instruments that bear the LAVEST label, mainly violins, we can affirm that the greater part of them were made in DIEUDONNE's workshop. A lesser number were fabricated in LABERTE’s workshop and, certainly even if in smaller quantities, in some others Mirecourt workshops.

The entire production made available through LAVEST can be divided in two main qualities:
1) The main production is composed of instruments bearing an orange, burgundy-red varnish directly  applied to the wood without primer, which creates an effect of staining the spruce. In our opinion, this kind of instrument was made in white by a Mirecourt workshop and was then varnished by LAVEST. An example can be seen in the Archive Gallery by viewing lot #1228 and comparing it with the Dieudonné lot #1331.
2) More scarce are the instruments made in a copy spirit. Photos of such instruments can be seen by viewing lot #228 in the Archives Gallery.

Label and Stamp
Instruments generally bear a facsimile label of the reference maker (i.e. Guadagnini) along with Lavest Brand stamp : J. LAVEST or J. LAVEST MONTLUÇON:
- on the inside back and top
- on the bottom rib over the button.

Bows
Bows bearing a stamp by Jules LAVEST can have been made by :
BAZIN Ch. N
BAZIN Louis
GILLET Louis
LABERTE Workshop
LOTTE François
OUCHARD Emile





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