Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, a French violin maker, born at Mirecourt, Yosges, Oct. 7, 1798, died in Paris in 1874. His great-grandfather worked under Antonio Stradivari, and his grandfather was celebrated as a violin maker. Jean early exhibited great skill in his father's shop, and in 1818 went to Paris, where he soon became distinguished. He revived the long neglected laws of acoustics in the manufacture of violins, making a special study of all the qualities of the ancient instruments, particularly the varnishes; and he attempted to imitate the old violins by means of chemically prepared wood. He aimed to copy exactly the violins of Stradivari, the Amatis, and Giovanni Paolo Maggini, and invented a machine for reproducing any model. He also made bows after the model of Tourte. In 40 years he turned out more than 3,000 violins, many of which he made himself throughout. In the Paris exposition of 1855 he received the unique grand medal of honor accorded to the best maker of stringed instruments with bows; and in the exposition of 1867 he was declared above the range of competition.
He was intimate with the Italian connoisseur Tarisio, and purchased his entire collection.