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René Lacôte – 1828


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René Lacôte, (1785 – after 1868), Joseph Pons apprentice, was the clever artisan who succeeded in exploiting his developments, both improving upon it and going further along the same road. Without let-up he tried to meet the needs of musicians, for instance improving the sound quality of the instrument, making it more powerful and ergonomic. His innovations concerned:
– the struts,
– the “butterfly” pegs, for which he studied various designs.
– Applying the neck-heel joint, as learned from Pons,
– The tuning mechanisms, that enabled the musician to tune the instrument with only one hand,
– The joint of the head,
– The solid mahogany or maple neck
– The joint of the neck into the upper block

Lacôte was always sensitive to the needs of musicians and composers, the best known of whom reigned at that time over the “musical life” of Paris, and he made his instruments trying to meet their desires. Lacôte carried on his work at various addresses, in the same quarter as his violin-maker colleagues Vuillaume, Chanot and Gand, very close to the Music Conservatory. He used at least three successive brands; he won awards in 1839 and 1844 during the Great National Exhibitions. His working life may be summed up as follows: Before 1818 he worked for Pons. In about 1819 he was in rue Montmartre, where he took over the workshop from his colleague Martin. In about 1823 he was in rue Neuve St-Eustache. In about 1823 he was in Place des Victoires, where he remained until 15th April 1829; then he moved to rue de Richelieu. In about 1832 he was in rue de Gramont. In about 1834 he was in rue de Louvois. In about 1843 he was still in rue de Louvois; also managing a shop in Ebury Street (London), starting the company “Lacôte & Cie”. In about 1850 he was in rue des Martyrs where he worked untill 1868 at least. This guitar has maple back back and sides. The neck ist made of solid mahogany. The machine-heads were replaced during the restoration but are like the original ones. Near the bridge two pieces of the top were replaced by Bernhard Kresse. Also the headplate was replaced. This Lacôte is full palyable and is in very good condition.

Luthier: René Lacôte
Construction year: 1828
Top: Spruce
Back and sides: Maple
Scale: 628 mm
Nut: 48 mm

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