Jacques-Pierre Thibout: violins fit for a king

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One of the key Parisian luthiers of the early 19th century, Jacques-Pierre Thibout had a distinctive – and often innovative – making style. Florent and Serge Boyer examine ten of his violins to track its evolution, and show why he became luthier to King Louis-Philippe

The Thibout dynasty of violin makers occupies a special place in the history of French lutherie. It spanned almost a century and a half, including the transitional period when such notable makers as Lupot, Pique and Aldric were adapting their models and techniques to the demands of repertoire and the new concert halls. The Thibouts had a particular style of their own that evolved over the course of their careers – and which can be tracked through their surviving instruments. The most illustrious maker of the family was Jacques-Pierre Thibout, whose making style evolved during his long career, not only as he became more skilled but also as a result of the many experiments and innovations he originated. This article will explore the evolution of his style, as well as a number of his experiments.

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