Émile François Ouchard violin bow, Mirecourt circa 1930
Émile François Ouchard (1872-1951) was a French bow maker and the patriarch of one of the most highly esteemed and influential families of archetiers. He was known widely as "Ouchard père." He began his apprenticeship at the age of 14 under Eugène Cuniot-Hury in his hometown of Mirecourt. Following Cuniot-Hury's death in 1910, Ouchard took over the Cuniot-Hury atelier and worked with the widow Cuniot until 1922.
A year later, Émile François Ouchard set up his own workshop in Mirecourt where he worked with his son, Émile Auguste, who had been assisting him since 1913. Ouchard père grew his business-employing up to 15 people, including his son-and retained the use of the Cuniot brand. The collaboration between father and son yielded some of the finest quality bows.
In 1937, Émile Auguste briefly took control of the business from his reluctant father before he moved to Paris to open his own workshop. The elder Ouchard ran the family business by himself until his death in 1951. The Émile François Ouchard atelier produced many renowned bow makers over the years, including his apprentices, Raymond and André Richaume, François Lotte, and Louis Brugère.
Sold with a certificate of authenticity from Jean-François Raffin.