Birth : 1700 Death : 1770 in Paris (Ile-de-France)

Biography

Career
The son of Michel GUERSAN, a weaver, Louis GUERSAN became involved in the violin world through his mother Barbe DE SOINDRE, widow of Gabriel BOCQUAY and mother of Jacques BOCQUAY, Louis' elder stepbrother born from this first marriage.
René VANNES asserts that Louis GUERSAN served his apprenticeship under Claude PIERRAY, but nothing about this connection can be found in the well-documented book by Silvette MILLOT.

Works
Louis GUERSAN, with SALOMON and Andréa CASTAGNERI, is one of the main figures of the French violin school of the XVIII century known as the "École Vieux Paris" (Old Paris School).
His production ranged from the viol family to the violin family
of instruments , mainly violins and cellos.
GUERSAN is supposed to have elaborated the recipe of the transparent genuine alcohol varnish typical of the XVIII century French school.

Workshop
1725: rue L'Evesque in Paris, a street located not far from Palais Royal that has since disappeared
1730: rue des Fossés Saint Germain in Paris, near the Comedie Française, first under the name "Le Petit Maure" and then "Au Luth Royal"

Honors & awards
As early as 1736 GUERSAN served as a Juror for the violin makers' guild and again in both 1748 and 1749.
In 1750 he became  Syndic and finally Dean in 1769.
GUERSAN also carried the honorable title of "Luthier de Monseigneur le Dauphin".

Collaborators & successors
Thanks to GUERSAN's great reputation in his craft, he was quite often in high demand as a trainer.
Among others the following makers served their apprenticeship in GUERSAN's workshop or worked as collaborators:
BERTET Pierre François
BOULANT J. Michel
FLEURY Benoît
HÉNOCQUE Jean
KOLIKER Gabriel
LEJEUNE François
LEROY Nicolas
RASTOIN Louis-Jacques
SAINT-PAUL Antoine

Upon Louis Nicolas GUERSAN's death in 1770 his stepson, Antoine SAINT-PAUL, born from his second marriage with Marie-Jeanne ZELTENER (Pierre François SAINT-PAUL's widow) succeeded him.


Sources
- Documents Inédits sur les Luthiers Parisiens du XVIII° siècle. Sylvette MILLIOT
- Dictionnaire Universel des Luthiers. René VANNES.
- La Lutherie Parisienne. Tome II. Sylvette MILLIOT
- Instrumentistes et Luthiers Parisiens XVII° - XIX° siècle Ouvrage dirigé par Florence GÉTREAU
(More specfic publication references are available in our Bibliography section.)


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