Biography

Career
COUESNON and Cie, a manufacture of musical instruments which can be compared to THIBOUVILLE LAMY’s, but whose production was mainly oriented toward woodwind instruments, is issued from GAUTROT Ainé & Cie, a firm that was established as early as 1845 in Paris.

In 1885, the firm began producing instruments of the violin family at the Rue d’Angoulême workshop in Paris under the direction of Maurice MERMILLOT, a master violin maker who worked with Jean-Baptiste VUILLAUME and GAND & BERNARDEL.
In 1887, Amédée COUESNON took over as the director of the GAUTROT firm, which employed nearly 1000 people at the height of its enterprise, and had production units in Paris, Château Thierry, Mantes, Garennes, and Mirecourt.
In 1901, Georges CHERPITEL, previously imployed at J. THIBOUVILLE LAMY'S, joined COUESNON to become the director of the workshop.
In 1913, in response to an increasing demand for instruments of good quality, COUESNON took over
Léon BERNARDEL and the firm took the name of "COUESNON & Léon BERNARDEL Réunis". L. BERNARDEL, who was sixty at the time, join the firm as Artistic Director. In addition to his role as Artistic Director, Léon Bernardel oversaw the instrument production. This collaboration lasted until 1923.
In 1927, Eugène Vincent GÉNOD left
Marc LABERTE to join COUESNON where he assumed the commercial management responsibilities of the Mirecourt and Paris workshops.
In 1931, the son of Amédée COUESNON, Jean COUESNON, succeeded his father.
In 1933, Jean COUESNON bought the name of Léon BERNARDEL and used it as a trademark.
In 1935, in order to continue to meet the growing demand, the Mirecourt workshops were developed. Beside instruments, bows, cases, and accessories mandolins and guitars were also produced. Gaston BERNEZ was appointed Director of the Mirecourt workshop.
In 1948, COUESNON and Cie consisted of no more than thirty people and a few craftsmen working at home. The Mirecourt workshops were
the only place where instruments in the violin family were still being produced. At the time, Gaston BERNEZ was still the director, with the collaboration of Jean VOIRY, his brother-in-law.

COUESNON & Cie shut its Violin making activities in Mirecourt not long after 1956, and closed definitively its doors in Château Thierry in May of 1967.

Labels and Stamps
Main stamps and labels used by Amédée Couesnon.


1 - Instruments :
« Bernardel Léon»
« Blaise »
« Cherpitel »
« Goffriller »
« Grancino (CB) »
« Guarnerius »
« Klotz »
« Lupot »
« Meurot »
« Montegalio »
« Nanny (CB) »
« Parisot »
« Pressenda »
« Richemont »
« Stradivarius »
« Vuillaume »

2 - Bows :
« A. Voirin Fils »
« Parisot »
« Tourte »


Sources
- La Lutherie Lorraine et Française, Albert JACQUOT
- Dictionnaire Universel des Luthiers. René VANNES.
- Les marques de Fabrique. Roland TERRIER, Lecture in Colmar 1992.
(More specific publication references are available in our Bibliography section.)

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