Birth : 1788 in Mirecourt (Vosges) Death : 1828 in Rochefort (Charente-Maritime)


Known as "Francis" CHANOT


The son of Joseph CHANOT, violin Maker in Mirecourt, Francois CHANOT made his career in the French Navy where he attained the rank of Captain engineer of 2nd class.
c. 1815 François was placed on non-active duty and returned to Mirecourt to his father’s workshop. Here he devoted himself to the study of the acoustical characteristics of the instruments of the violin family.
In January 1818, by order of the King of France Louis XVII, his patent of invention for the concept of a new violin, called « guitar violin », is registered.
Certainly around that date CHANOT moved to Paris. According to Roger MILLANT, Francis CHANOT didn’t have his own workshop. (Millant R. 1972). His instruments were made in the workshop of Nicolas Antoine LÉTÉ

In 1818 François CHANOT offered Nicolas SIMOUTRE to leave Mirecourt and go to Paris with him to produce his new « guitar-shape » line of instruments. SIMOUTRE declined the offer but his assistant J.B. VUILLAUME, looking for a way to move to Paris came to work with CHANOT during that year.

In 1819, François CHANOT’s brother, Georges II, came at the request of François to assist J.B. VUILLAUME. George left in 1820 to join Jean Laurent CLÉMENT’s workshop in Paris. (Vidal A. 1889)
J.B. VUILLAUME remained with François CHANOT until 1821, At that date he started to work solely for LETE.

« In 1824 François CHANOT returned to active duty in the Navy and abandoned violin making » (Millant R. 1972). He moved to Brest to rejoin his position where he ended his career in the Navy with the rank of Captain Engineer 1st class.

It is difficult to precisely date the instruments produced by François CHANOT.
Most authors date them from 1818, but this date is only a reference to the date of the patent of invention’s registration for the guitar-shaped instruments.

We also do not know how many guitar-shaped instruments were built.
The violin dedicated to Viotti, shown on page 165 in the catalog of the exhibition « Violons, Vuillaume » bears the number 20. (Violons, Vuillaume. 1998)
The cello on display on our website is numbered 69.

François CHANOT workshop was located in the workshop of Nicolas Antoine LÉTÉ, N° 20 rue de Pavée-Saint-Sauveur at Paris. (Millant R. 1972)

Manuscript label :
Chanot par B. d’inv. 21 janvier 1818
Paris et Mirecourt – CID. N°..

On the label of the cello #7148 shown on our website, the town of Mirecourt is not any more mentioned.

The letters C.I.D. are the initials of François CHANOT's Navy title : Capitaine, Ingenieur, Deuxième classe. (Vidal A. 1889)

Collaborators & successors
CHANOT Georges, 1819 à 1820
VUILLAUME Jean-Baptiste,  1818 à 1821


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