SOLD: Fine French Double Bass Attributed to Collin Mezin and stamped Paul Bisch

The bass is similar in model to basses made by Colin Mezin.  Stamped PAUL BISCH  it is possible this bass was made by Colin Mezin for Paul Bisch to fulfill a special order and that the violin corners were done to give the bass some distinction.


Collin Mezin Attributed to Paul Bisch c1930

Paul Bisch started his career at the Jean Thibouville Lamy (JTL) workshop, then left to work for  Mougenot and came back to the JTL workshop working under the direction of Marius Didier.

In 1919 Mr. Bisch had the opportunity to join the great Parisian violin maker Caressa et Francias. There he became skilled in the art of repair & restoration and had the luxury of studying all the prestigious instruments of various European schools. He came back to Mirecourt to settled his own workshop, n? 2, Rue Chantaire.

In 1923 he formed a partnership with Christian Olivier with whom he created a workshop, “A La Lyre” located at 74 rue de Turbigot in Paris. Mr. Bisch being in charge of the technical production and Mr. Olivier with the business part. This association lasted until 1929. About 1930 Mr. Bisch moved to a new workshop at 8, St Georges Street in Mirecourt.

Paul Bisch’s production is estimated at about 500 instruments over his career, the best ones bearing his stamp and some are signed and numbered. This bass bears the Bisch stamp which, in our opinion, was stamped prior to being varnished. The bass is similar in model to basses made by Colin Mezin. Given the close proximity of the two workshops, it is possible this bass was made by Colin Mezin for Paul Bisch to fulfill a special order. It is also possible that Paul Bisch made the bass on a borrowed form or template. If made by Paul Bisch, it would be one of the only documented basses from the Bisch workshop known to exist. Regardless of which great Parisian made it, it is a truly unique and wonderful bass.

This bass was owned by a student of Gary Karr. Mr. Karr approved of his student purchasing this bass, and we are told he played on it many times during lessons.

String Length:  41 1/4″ or 94.5 mm
Body Length:  45 1/4″ or 115 mm
Upper Bout Width:  18 1/8″ or 46.1 mm
C Bout Width:  8 1/2″ or 21.5 mm
Lower Bout Width:  25 1/4″ or 64.1 mm
Rib Depth at Neck Set:  6 3/4″/ or 17.3 mm
Rib Depth at End Block:  8 1/2″ or 21.5 mm

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