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 can 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 was built in 1835 in rue de Louvois and has satinwood back and sides. The spruce top is in original condition and has no cracks. Only the bridge was replaced by a 1:1 copy that was made in our workshop. On the back you can find a two very small repaired cracks. Overall this is a beautiful example of Lacôte’s work.
|Back and sides:||Satinwood|