Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy – JTL

JTL label with medals from Hanoi and Milan

Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy was the largest of the French Mirecourt instrument-making companies of the 19th century. The company came about when several highly regarded luthier workshops merged with the Thibouville family business.

The Thibouville family of La Couture-Boussey had been well known for their woodwind and brass instruments since the 16th century. Louis Emile Jérôme Thibouville, a descendant of these instrument-makers, decided in the mid 19th century to extend into the string instrument market. He decided to approach the Mirecourt company of Husson-Buthod to create a partnership due to the production capabilities and the considerable expertise of the two luthiers

Charles Buthod and Charles-Claude Husson both had respected and successful ateliers and were known for the high quality of their instruments. Like many other luthiers and archetiers of the time, each had spent time training at the famous Parisian workshop of Jean-Baptiste Vuilaume. Charles and Charles-Claude merged their businesses in 1848.

Buthod and Husson would provide Louis Emile Jérôme Thibouville with an excellent platform to support his ambition to enter the string instrument trade. The merger was also attractive for the luthiers as it would provide opportunities for their business to extend outside of the borders of France. The Husson-Buthod-Thibouville company thus came to be in 1857.

Marguerite Hyacinthe Lamy was a cousin of Buthod and Husson. The 1861 marriage of Louis Emile Jérôme Thibouville and Marguerite reinforced the connection between the families and the company. Marguerite was also a relative of the Parisian merchant Claude Charles Duchene. After the marriage, the company came to be known as "Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (J.T.L.)".

Under this name, the company grew rapidly and had an incredible rate of production with over 150,000 instruments per year crafted by more than 1000 luthiers. JTL supplied an extensive range of instruments of various qualities to suit students up to professionals.  Their extensive catalogues are still of immense interest to historians.

Despite the mass-production scale of JTL’s workshops, it was also a place where the knowledge of generations of luthiers gathered. This influence extended outside the company, as many masters spent significant periods of their training working for JTL. These master luthiers included Marius Didier, Paul Kaul, Paul Bisch, Pierre Claudot, Maurice Bourguignon, Andre Joseph Victor Chevrier, Charles Fétique and many others. Anton Siebenhuner, an internationally experience luthier with numerous awards for his work, sent his son Karl to work at JTL to equip him with the knowledge to take over the family workshop. With such a congregation of knowledge, expertise, and craftsmanship, Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy produced many fine instruments.

Instrument making in Mirecourt dwindled and ceased to be during the middle of the 20th century due to the economic and political hardships of this period. Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy eventually shut its factories in 1968.

Animato currently has a circa 1920's Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy full size violin available for the discerning violinist.