Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre was born in 1845 in the Meurthe et Moselle region of France and is considered to be one of the greatest makers of the French school, winning many medals over his lifetime. After his first apprenticeship in Mirecourt, Chrétien went on to join his uncles, Pierre and Hippolyte Silvestre, in Lyons. At 20 years old, Chrétien took over the Silvestre shop. In 1891, Chrétien asked Ernest Maucotel in Moscow to join him and in 1900 the two formed the Silvestre et Maucotel firm that lasted until Silvestre’s death in 1913. This violin has a masterfully crafted scroll.