Hippolyte Silvestre cello, 1848
French luthier Hippolyte Silvestre was born near Nancy, France in 1808 and died in Sommerviller in 1879. He apprenticed at the Blaise workshop in Mirecourt before moving to Paris around 1827 to study at Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume's famous atelier. In 1831, Hippolyte joined his brother Pierre Silvestre (1801-1859) in Lyon to form Silvestre Frères, a highly successful business that produced some of the finest French instruments of the mid 19th century. Hippolyte left the firm and moved to Sommerviller after 1848, the year this cello was made. After his brother's death in 1859, he returned to the Silvestre workshop in Lyon to work with his nephew Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre (1845-1913) for several years, before retiring in 1865. Hippolyte Silvestre's instruments, based on Cremonese models, are very highly regarded.