Birth : 1842 in Mazirot (Vosges) Death : 1902 in Lille (Nord)

Biography

Career
Joseph Pierre HEL began his apprenticeship at the age of fourteen in Mirecourt with François SALZARD with whom he stayed for five years.
From 1861 to 1865, HEL worked with different violin makers or manufactures, sometimes for a very short period : Didier POIROT (1861), GRANDJON Fils (1861), LABERTE HUMBERT (1861,62), Sébastien VUILLAUME (1862, 63), E HENRY-J MARTIN (1863), Nicolas DARCHE (1864) and LABERTE HUMBERT again.
At the advice of Jean-Baptiste VUILLAUME, HEL came to Lille in November 1865 to establish his own workshop. There he became the luthier of the Conservatory of Music.

Awards & medals
- Gold medal at the 1880 Lille, 1882 Lille, 1885 Antwerp, 1886 Liverpool, 1889 Paris International Exhibitions.
- Diploma of Honor at the 1897 Brussels International Exhibition.
- Great Prize at the 1900 Paris International Exhibitions.

Works
Joseph HEL acquired a great reputation for his copies of the italian Masters : Stradivari, Amati, Guarneri and Maggini, coated with a red-orange or red-brown rich varnish. His production includes all the instruments of the string quintet.
HEL's production is estimated at more than 750 instruments. During his professional life his reputation spread out of France with customers in Belgium, Switzerland, USA where he went two times and particularly Great Britain, where he worked closely with the HILL family.

Label and Stamp
Joseph HEL instruments are stamped to the outside lowest rib, under the button J. HEL à Lille.
or J. Hel stamped two times on both side of the lowest rib joint.

Collaborator
MARISSAL Auguste
MANGENOT Paul

Successor
At HEL's death his son, Pierre HEL, succeeded him.

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