The Makers

Émile François Ouchard (aka Ouchard père)

1872 - 1951

Ouchard1
Ouchard2

Émile François Ouchard, aka Ouchard père (1872-1951) was born on 30 April in Mirecourt.

In the 1886 Mirecourt census Ouchard appears as Émile Houchard,  and is living with his mother and other family members at 12 Rue Lupot; in the same house, though not the same household, as Charles and Victor Fétique.

By the 1896 census he appears as Émile Ouchard at 10 Rue Lupot and in the 1901 census at 17 Rue Chantaire, his employer given as, ‘Cuniot’. He had been apprenticed to Eugène Cuniot in 1886 and worked for the Cuniot-Hury firm beyond Cuniot’s death in 1910, until 1922, in the latter period as the assistant/employee of his widow.

Ouchard set up at 1 Rue Canon in Mirecourt on his own account in 1923. He branded his work, ‘Émile Ouchard’, but also used the ‘Cuniot-Hury’ stamp for some time. By 1936 the workshop had grown and was now employing fifteen workers. The following year his son, Émile Auguste, bought him out, but bad relations between father and son led the latter to go to Paris to continue business, leaving his father with a few workers in Mirecourt.

Many renowned makers spent time in the Ouchard workshop including; François Lotte, André Richaume, and Paul Audinot. Many makers/dealers bought from the Ouchard workshop, including; Joseph Aubry, Paul and Olivier Bisch, Paul J.B. Chipot, Maurice Bourguignon, Georges Coné, Cuniot-Hury, Charles Énel, Pillot, and Nicolas Le Maire,  often these would use their own brand. Workshop bows were sometimes branded, ‘Strellini’.

Such was the output of Ouchard’s work to other makers/dealers that it outnumbers by far bows carrying his own brand. The scale of Ouchard’s influence on Mirecourt bow making is hard to exaggerate due to the number of workers who received training in his workshop and contributed to its considerable output.

Ouchard died February 27, 1951, where he was born, in Mirecourt.