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Paul Hilaire, 1955, 16 1/2″ Viola

Paul Hilaire (b.1906, d.1967) lived in Mirecourt and was trained by well-known luthier George Apparut in the famous Victor Joseph Charotte workshop. Hilaire became Apparut’s main assistant and after his death in the late 1940s Hilaire partnered with Apparut’s widow to form a new workshop, Etablissements Apparut & Hilaire. The shop produced cellos, violins, and violas and employed Jean Eulry, who had previously worked under master luthier Amédée Dieudonné. Many of Hilaire’s instruments were sold across Japan and the United States.

This typical Hilaire viola was crafted in France in 1955 of gorgeous flamed maple and fine-grained spruce. Hilaire’s lustrous, warm orange-brown oil varnish enhances the wood’s lovely natural hue. His attention to detail is evident in the scroll and the overall fine craftsmanship of the piece. Traces of use are fitting for an instrument of this age, as is the viola’s bright, radiant sound. This model is ready to play and beautifully resonant with a balanced tone and would be an excellent choice for an advancing student or soloist.


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