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Author Topic: Build numbers of the LaCouture - Boussey shops at turn of century?  (Read 1287 times)

Offline Tinker73

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I was just looking at some annual build numbers for flutes by the LL Louis Lot shop from 1855-1951 when the shop closed.  The largest number of flutes built by this shop in any given year was 178 total flutes, with most years much below this level.  I would guess that since the LL Lot flutes were the most precision made at the time, they probably took longer to make than a clarinet, but it got me thinking with all of the small shops in the La Couture region, how many were some of these small shops really producing in a given year?
 If anyone has any access to published production numbers of some of these small shops please share, I think it would be very interesting to know, especially on some of the shops making "stencils".  I think we may be surprised just how few of some of these "stencils" were really made.  Then one also has to consider how few of the A, C & E's were made when you consider the Bb clarinet was produced at a much higher % than any of the others.  Then think about the small makers that were in the "stencil" export business, you have to wonder in a big order year for a "stencil" they were making if they even produced a clarinet with their own logo on in some years.

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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Build numbers of the LaCouture - Boussey shops at turn of century?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 02:14:27 PM »
That's a great question. The answer involves a good number of variables. I think even having the production of the Lot workshop is a good start. The next logical question is how many employees were in the Lot shop during that time. If we could take a census of the luthier workforce, we might be able to extrapolate from that a logical guess of production numbers.

I think you are correct regarding the stencil export business. America was a large market for export. In the JTL catalog there are export models for the "Indies" and other areas of the world. The export market would have kept La Couture busy.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Tinker73

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Re: Build numbers of the LaCouture - Boussey shops at turn of century?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 02:38:03 PM »
One other thing to consider with the Louis Lot shop is that through going through his accounting records he supplied 20 wooden keyless flutes to Theobald Boehm in Germany over appx. a 10 year period.  Boehm's shop at the time was turning out about 2 flutes per month.  Lot's shop was also supplying other makers in the LaCouture district, namely Isador Lot with keyless flute bodies, so some of these numbers may be a little deceiving about how much total production was going on in each of these shops when you consider that there was probably a lot of this type of trading or bartering between the smaller shops - flute bodies for clarinet or Oboe bodies etc.  I have been unable to account for Lots total number of employees as of yet, but still digging through French Census records in hopes of getting a rough guess.  Bigger problem might be how many "specialty" workers was he employing - such as the silversmith that did the final touches for his flutes and probably for numerous other makers in the area, so wasn't really considered his employee.  Why oh why did some of the greatest musical instrument production of all time have to take place in what was considered a commune!
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