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David Beard

Lupot: Inside form or outside? Strad copies or 'in the style of'?

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No. That's why I'm asking.  Did the earlier makers like Lupot and Pique already use the outside mold methods of later French work?  Or were these older French makers working on an inside mold?

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There's an excellent Strad article on Lupot by Dilworth (I believe) from a few years back. It basically sums up that no one seems to know for sure what method(s) he was using, but he seems to have been the first "copyist" trying to get a similar look of the inside work to Stradivari's quite consciously. There was not a tradition of using an inside mold among french lakers at that time, although the technique would not have been totally unknown to savvy makers like Lupot who had contact and dealings with makers from all over Europe. It seems likely that he was among the first to abandon the french BOB method (that his father used) and began developping outside molds as a way of replicating the Strad outlines he was observing. that he proportioned the blocks like Strad, inserted the linings, mitred the rib ends and mostly used willow indicates how keenly he was studying the original Strads that would go through his hands. All of those features can be done with an outside mold (or without a mold for that matter), if one wishes to do so.

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I have seen some Lupot violins from the inside. And as Michael Appleman said already, Lupot really tried to get into the shoes of the master and imitate everything to the minutest detail. 

I vividly remember that one of the open Lupots I have seen was just before 1800 (can't recall the exact year but I think it was 1798). Very neat and clean work but the c linings not inserted in the blocks. The second was made I think only a few years later and it was clear that in the meantime Lupot had seen an open Strad to study, because everything was exactly like strad. Materials, lining width and the way they were inserted into the blocks. 

If done on an outside or inside mould or no mould at all, is hard to say. From my observations I would only exclude the outside mould because it is pretty hard to get the corner rib joints at the corners absolutely clean like Strad.

From a practical standpoint I would say, if Lupot knew about the inside mould, I would definitely say he copied that as well. I don't know from when the original Strad moulds in the Paris museum were in France, but if they were there around 1800 and Lupot knew them I am sure that he used an interior mould.

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Anecdotally I have heard that the outside mold was a later innovation, pre-dating Vuillume but not by much.

On the other hand I don't think there was much understanding of inside mold techniques in early C19 France. I have always assumed that Lupot and Pique built freestyle but I also find this an intriquing question and would love to know for sure.

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I ask because Lupot's work just seems to capture that warmer and less squared up feeling.

Also, I've just read how Vuillaume had early contact Francois Chanot.  And that besides designing is special violins, Chanot went to school and studied both math and naval shipbuilding and design. Then Chanot wrote a treatise on how French violin making process should be modernized and 'fixed'.   Both Chanot and Vuillaume hailed from Mirecourt, and Vuillaume spent time with Chanot before strike out on his own.

So for all those reasons, despite Lupot's influence on Vuillaume I began wondering if there might be a significant break in methods from Lupot to Vuillaume, just as there is a big shift in the feel of the work?

 

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For me Vuillaume was the person who first exploited the possibilities of the outside mold. According to the Millant book he knew how to imitate all construction styles while using an outside mold.

From what you're saying, I wonder if Francois Chanot wasn't largely responsible for the invention of the outside mold.

Lupot/Pique seems to me to be an entirely different tradition from Vuillaume, though in the early days of the Vuillaume shop the Lupot style persisted in makers such as Georges Chanot and ASP Bernardel.

I think this article from the Strad written by Albert Cooper sums the matter up pretty succinctly http://www.thecoopercollection.co.uk/art16.htm

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