The Makers

Joseph Alfred Lamy (aka Lamy père)

1850 - 1919


Lamy was born on 8 September in Mirecourt. The registration of his birth shows Léon Nicolas, luthier, as a witness.

In 1862 he was apprenticed to Claude Charles Nicolas Husson. He left to work in Château-Thierry under the direction of Pierre Louis Gautrot in 1868 where he would have come into contact with co-worker Joseph Voirin. The connection must have been more than casual as Voirin was a witness at the birth registration of all five of Lamy’s children.

In 1876 he moved to Paris to work for François Nicolas Voirin where he remained until Voirin’s death, in 1885, when he began to trade in his own right. His work in the period 1876-1889 is firmly rooted in the Voirin style showing thin, delicately chamfered heads and small-throated frogs. Some nickel mounted bows date from his early years of independence.

From c.1890 to c.1900 the work becomes more definitively Lamy rather than Voirin, generally exhibiting frogs with mother-of-pearl eyes and buttons in three pieces. From 1900 heads become wider with bolder chamfers and the throats of the frogs also widen.

Lamy’s sons Hippolyte Camille (1875-1942) and George L éon (1881-1915) assisted their father: Hippolyte from 1890 and Georges from c.1896. It may be that the influence of his children had some bearing on the stylistic changes made from c. 1890 onwards.

His brand states, ‘A.LAMY Á PARIS’. The first, slightly smaller brand dates from c.1885-90, the second from c.1890 onwards. Bows made for various expositions carry the stamp stating this on the audience side of the stick. After Lamy’s death in 1919 Hippolyte took over the workshop and continued to use his father’s brand. N.B. The stamp, ‘Alfred Lamy’, was used by Joseph Alfred Lamy’s nephew, Alfred (1886-1922), who worked, at times, for both Cuniot and Laberte.

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Joseph Alfred Lamy (aka Lamy père)