Charles J.B. Collin-Mezin

Charles Jean Baptiste Collin-Mezin was born at Mirecourt in 1841. He apprenticed under his father, C.L. Collin, and quickly became a skilled repairer and maker. In the early years of his career, he may have also worked at the Brussels workshop of Nicolas-François Vuillaume. In 1886 he moved to Paris, where he became one of the century’s most important luthiers. His violins, violas, and cellos were played by many prominent musicians of the time who compared his work to that of the old masters.

Collin-Mezin trained his son as a luthier, who also became one of the best French builders of his time. The Collin-Mezin Workshop produced many instruments that were sought after particularly for their vibrancy and flexibility of sound. At the time of Collin-Mezin’s death, his son took over the workshop, eventually passing it on to his own son, Charles J.B. Collin-Mezin III.

Collin-Mezin was an Officier de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts and won gold and silver medals at the Paris Exhibitions in 1878, 1889, and 1900.