A violin by Pierre Joseph Hel
Born in Mazirot, Vosges, in 1842, (Pierre) Joseph Hel was apprenticed to Dominique or François Salzard in Mirecourt and subsequently spent two years with Sébastien Vuillaume in Paris, and some time with Nicolas Darche in Aix-la-Chapelle in 1864, before opening his own shop in Lille in 1865. He died there in 1902. A restorer and maker, involved with the Lille Conservatoire and the Glasgow dealer David Laurie, he is credited with over 800 instruments, and was made an officer of the Académie Française. His work consists of very accurate copies of Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù, generally with a shaded and antiqued finish.
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