Léon Bernardel violin, Paris 1923
As the son and pupil of Ernest Auguste Bernardel, Léon Bernardel (1853-1931) is credited with carrying on the important French tradition of violin making which began with François-Louis Pique and was passed on to his grandfather through Nicolas Lupot. Before joining the family firm, Gand et Bernardel Frères, he spent one year studying with Justin Derazey. In 1899, he opened his own shop at 40 Faubourg Poissonnière, working with his son Léon II. He maintained the excellent family tradition in his own instruments, following the style of Lupot and producing instruments primarily modeled after Stradivari.