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Charles Boullangier

Born in Mirecourt in 1823, Boullangier trained in his home town, and then in Paris with J.B. Vuillaume and Gand & Bernardel. In 1849 he moved to London to work for Edward Withers. In 1858 he branched out on his own, at first in Charlotte Street, then University Street, then Dean Street and finally Frith Street in Soho, where he remained until his death in 1888. His work was an admirable fusion of Parisian and London styles – he benefited from experience with John Lott through Withers. His instruments are very fine reproductions of classical work, especially Guarneri del Gesù, with a slightly less constrained manner than French contemporaries and distinctive personal touches. He used a very fine, clear, red-brown varnish. He received the royal appointment of the Duke of Edinburgh, an enthusiastic amateur violinist, and was awarded prizes at three London exhibitions. Many instruments were left unvarnished after his death, and these were finished and sold with his label by his daughter Josephine and son-in-law George White.

Charles Boullangier

(b Mirecourt, 1823; fl Paris until 1849, then London; d 1888)

Born in Mirecourt in 1823, Boullangier trained in his home town, and then in Paris with J.B. Vuillaume and Gand & Bernardel. In 1849 he moved to London to work for Edward Withers. In 1858 he branched out on his own, at first in Charlotte Street, then University Street, then Dean Street and finally Frith Street in Soho, where he remained until his death in 1888. His work was an admirable fusion of Parisian and London styles – he benefited from experience with John Lott through Withers. His instruments are very fine reproductions of classical work, especially Guarneri del Gesù,... Read more