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woensdag 2 juli 2008

Husson and Duchene (around 1840)



Here is a front view of the guitar that most likely
was made for the house Husson et Duchene.
The label in this guitar is lost but a lot of features
are pointing in that direction. When you compare
this picture with the one beneath you might be able
to trace the repaired cracks (3) and the outer
ends of the bridge. It received new fretwork as well.

The firm Husson et Duchêne was established
in Paris in 1839 by two luthiers
Claude Charles Husson (1811-1893) and
Jean-Baptiste Colin Duchêne (b. c.1800-d.1889)
This French romantic classical guitar was made
between 1839-1845 when their shop was at
Rue Grenéta, no 13.
This firm eventually gave birth to
Thibouville-Lamy, the largest purveyor of
musical instruments in France.
When Duchêne left the partnership in 1848,
Husson took on a new partner,
Charles Buthod (1810-1889).
In 1861, they were joined by Jerome Thibouville.
The firm of Husson, Buthod, and Thibouville
brought together regional factories which made
woodwinds at la Couture, brass instruments
at Paris-Grenville, and string instruments
(including guitars) at Mirecourt.
By 1867, the partnership had become simply
the firm Thibouville-Lamy.
By 1900, Thibouville-Lamy had branches
London and New York. This firm, in fact, still
exists. This little finely made French guitar
has rosewood back and sides, a bit uneven grained
spruce top, and a very lovely engraved rosette
made of mother-of-pearl.
Machine heads with metal rollers.
These are marked EON fils and are not original.
The scale is 625mm, with a 47mm nut.
The tone is romantic, with some silky sounding
trebles, firm basses, and excellent volume.
This Husson et Duchene classsical guitar
will be restored and can be brought back
in excellent condition.

The back of this instrument that in fact is
veneered as was common on more
instruments of that time.
The inner layer is mostly made of quarter
sawn spruce. Not with this instrument that
furthermore has a simple ladder bracing.


By clicking on this picture you can enlarge it
as the fingerboard is in one line with the soundboard.
The bridge with the damaged outer ends:
In fact this guitar came to me with metal
strings so the bridge came of as well!
Luckily it has been glued with the
original old glue so removal isn't
that difficult.The outer ends will be
glued again to the existing bridge.
These models can be found on the Lacote as
well as the Aubry Maire instruments.
making it possible to examine it carefully.
Especially the green abalone motives are attractive
as was done on many Aubry Maire instruments.
In fact the plantilla resembles these instruments
a bit. There were possible relations with Aubry Maire
as a supplier of instruments for Husson et Duchene
but regarding this instrument it is still a supposition.
(source: Sinier de Ridder)

The unusual shape of the head makes these
guitars easy to identify though I found this headshape
on a Boulanger guitar as well. That instrument
(and many more) can be found at the Mirecourt
museum site. Carefully veneered head on front
as well as its' back.

The back of the head that shows the
carefully placed head on the neck.

The heel of this instrument appeared to have a lining
after some cleaning. I have to place a new one on the right
side of the heel. Some additional gluework will be done.


I've added a new inlay on the right and flattened out the
side on that spot as well. After cleaning the left side it
was obvious there was no restoration needed.


 Restauration of the endpin would have been allmost
impossible as it allways will be prone to future damage.
I made a new one out of a very old cello tuning peg.


Here's a picture of the restored endpin though the first one
could be a later addition as well. But that's part of this guitars'
history and I kept it that way.



The EON tuners that were introduced in the second
half of the nineteenth century. In combination
with the inline fingerboard / soundboard one
must conclude that though these tuners are of good
quality but not original. Metal rollers and ebony knobs.
It is very obvious that this guitar has been built 
a bit earlier than these tuners.


Probably due to the use of metal strings the original bridge
cracked into two pieces alongside the openings for the pegs.
As there were allready some reparations made to it I
decided to replace it and made a copy of the original one.

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