Paul Bailly was born in Mattaincourt and studied with Jules Gaillard before working in Brussels for Nicolas François Vuillaume, and in Paris for his brother J.B. Vuillaume.
He travelled widely, working in various cities in France (Douai, Lille, Rheims), in England (Leeds, London) and America before he settled in Paris c.1898 opening a shop at 197 rue de Grenelle (now a restaurant, La Sartoria). His work is based on Cremonese models, particularly favouring Stradivari, but in a style very close to J.B.Vuillaume. Though prolific his work never falls below a high technical standard.
Bailly’s daughter Jenny Marie (1883-1970) had assisted him in his lifetime and inherited the business after his death. She continued making and sold her instruments in the UK through the British Violin Makers’ Guild.