Claude Pirot violin, Paris 1800
Claude Pirot (b.1792, d.1835) was a French luthier. He established himself in Paris and became known for his style, which combines Italian and French schools, particularly during the latter's fin de siècle period. His craftsmanship was inspired by Antonio Stradivari, as seen in his sound-holes and overall proportions: broad and flat; while his later work bore similarities with his famed contemporary, Nicolas Lupot.
Aside from his interesting accents and beautifully cut scrolls, a great distinction of Pirot violins are their belly design, which has slightly higher arching than his often one-piece backs-a style of his own making. "Whether this is prejudicial to the equality of tone is, of course, a controversial matter," according to William Henley, author of the Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers.
Pirot's choice of varnish was typically thick reddish-brown, but he was also known to utilize pale yellow and deep plum to add rich texture to the overall finish.