(b Mirecourt, 28 April 1765; d Paris, 1843). French violin maker. One of the third generation of a Mirecourt family of violin makers, he settled in Paris in 1785, firstly at 16 rue des Arcis, moving to 30 rue de Bussy about 1807, and finally to 71 rue de Seine in 1820. The fine quality of his work places him in the forefront of French violin makers. His instruments are patterned after the Stradivari model but tend towards more fullness in both outline and archings. The varnish, generally of a red-brown colour, can be very attractive, but often falls a little short of achieving clarity and elasticity; heavily varnished instruments have a broad checking, which is not at all unattractive. Those varnished a lighter golden-yellow or orange-brown appear to belong to a lesser category. Tonally, Aldric’s instruments are among the best produced by the French; his cellos are quite outstanding and are much sought after as concert instruments. Aldric used a variety of different labels; the printed ones usually have a decorative border while the manuscript labels are plain and appear rather carelessly turned out. He was the first French violin maker to buy some of the fine Italian instruments that were brought to Paris by Luigi Tarisio in 1827. He was succeeded by his nephew Jacques Aubry in 1840; a violin label from the period states: ‘Aubry neveu et successeur d'Aldric, Paris 1841’.
ALDRIC, JEAN FRANCOIS
Worked in Paris, 1788-1843.
These instruments, of which character is allied to a technical mastery, will occupy a front place in the honoured list of French makers to be recorded in the future history of the art.
The model usually related to the thesis set up by Stradivari, the arching may be said to form a congeric link to that maker, but the general appearance seems bolder, though without the heaviness invariably accompanying it - a model deserving the highest approval - truly excellent in elegance and proportion, and quite surprising in the cunning regard for the harmonious.
Purfling of the same conveyance towards one focus, that of unity of design. Ribs of full depth. Grain of wood used for top is not infrequently irregular in width, and doubtless to some it may appear to be the result of carelessness in selecting fine material. His attention seems to have been steadily fixed on the great central truth of rich tone to which he brought every contingent of thought, and being aware that many fine and even-grained French instruments were then rather hard in tone, he sensibly tried to find a means of reducing this hardness. And he conjectured rightly for some of his instruments resemble the Italian quality of tone to an astounding degree.
Massive-looking scrolls denoting a vigilant attendance on fine design, and earnest regard for unity. Prettily cut sound-holes more slightly raised than the Stradivarian. Varnish generally dark red, occasionally deep golden yellow, sometimes rich in appearance; but also, unfortunately, spiritless and common-looking, as though ill-prepared. But this applies more to the few specimens of a semi-Guarnerius model on which he put a rather lighter orange-brown.
Specimens occasionally re-labelled and disposed of as the work of Nicolas Lupot. Some instruments made with American wood, but not satisfactory in richness of tone.
’Cellos much sought after.