Daniel Sinier & Françoise de Ridder
After the "Arza", we opened a workshop in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, and began restoring antique musical instruments for the capital's antique dealers. In 1971, we moved to the 1st arrondissement then, in 1979, we left Paris and set up our workshop in Saint-Chartier, Indre (central France).
From this time on we have dedicated ourselves exclusively to instruments belonging to the national patrimony. This includes restoration, study, appraisal, and trade of instruments considered historic.
Our clients are prominent European dealers, and collections both public and private. We also work directly with musicians who, similarly to numerous violinists, prefer to play genuine antique instruments rather than copies.
To support our work on all these collection and museum-worthy instruments, we rely on documents provided by the museums, loans by private collectors, as well as information given by our colleagues, relevant publications, and above all, on our own documentation.
Indeed, in the last 40 years that we have worked on antique instruments, we have taken apart over 2000 guitars, mandolins, lutes, zithers, theorbs, viols, etc… We have taken notes, photos, drawings, casts and prints. We have uncovered names inside guitars that allow us to authenticate certain factors which can be of use in the assessment of any instrument (model, thickness, bracings, blocks, etc.). In the past several years, we have trained Jérome Casanova, enthusiast maker, to the art of restoration, historical techniques and the evolution of guitar-making.
We regularly update our website as well as publish articles in numerous magazines and participate in lectures given at events related to lutherie. We wrote a book, "La Guitare", published by Edizioni Il Salabue, dedicated to guitars made in Paris between 1650 and 1950, from Voboam to Bouchet; a second volume, dedicated to guitars made in Mirecourt, is in process.
We make expertises and appraisals about historic instruments for major public auctions in France, and also for collectors and musicians who entrust us with their instruments. After examining the instrument, we can issue a certificate of authenticity establishing precisely the condition, the period, the materials used, the dimensions, the author and its value.
In these pages, we would like to offer you several rare and antique instruments, each coming with a certificate of authenticity. We also include a small text about the luthier who made it. We hope that our instruments will enchant you, and that, like thousands of musicians, you will appreciate the diversity of the lutherie of the authors of the past and the qualities of the sound and the historic "know-how".