The Chanot family violin making tools were acquired by the Bate Collection in December 2015. The collection consists of near 800 tools, templates and patterns used by various members of the Chanot family dating back to the 18th century. The classification and cataloguing of the items is ongoing. The collection currently resides in the workshop of the Bate and is on display to the public.
The items are a collage of the Chanot workshop that was located on Wardour Street from which the collection was gathered.The Collection is a distinct visual representation of the violin maker during the second half of the 19th century. It demonstrates a direction that violin making took during the industrial revolution which was one of progression in accurate copying. The Cremonese greats had been made and makers such as Chanot, wanted to recreate their sound and supply aspiring musicians. Using the new technological and social developments within the cities, information and connections became easier to access. Therefore, a luthier could not only become wiser but also capitalise from the knowledge that they gained.The workshop on Wardour Street which George Chanot II first established, opened during the industrial revolution at the start of the 1860s. The musicians at the time of Chanot were looking for affordable and accurate copies of great violins of the previous century. The Chanots practices were suitable for this industrious environment, their origins in the French violin trade had given them the skills to produce fine copies with consistency. George II gains a reputation as a prominent copyist of famous violins by Stradivarius and Del Gesu. His connections to makers, musicians and enthusiasts proved successful to his legacy.Looking closely, you will find signs of wear, inscriptions and adjustments on almost every item. Each detail helps tell a story of who the Chanots were and how they may have used their tools to create some of the best violins of their time.Further Details on Chanots workshop have been made into a book and the entire collection can be found on the Bate’s online Catalogue.