Cello by Paul Bailly, Paris, 1876

This cello was made for the Reims exposition, and is an exceptional example of Bailly's craftsmanship. It is an adaptation of Stradivari's forma B-piccolo, and shows an understanding of Stradivari's intentions that is otherwise rarely seen on French instruments of the period. This excellent and rare cello combines a mellow sound with the projection to fill a concert hall. It has been in the same family for many years and little used, hence its exquisite condition.

Paul Bailly (1844 - 1907) was born in Mirecourt and studied there before working in Brussels and Paris for the Vuillaume family. He later travelled to England and the United States, before settling in Paris in 1898. There he developed his reputation as a skilled and prolific interpreter of various models, but particularly Stradivari. His instruments are appreciated for their excellent tonal qualities and deep red varnish.

Instrument Specifications


Exposition Industrielle Regional de Reims 1876/Paul Bailly Luthier a Mirecourt (Vosges) nomme/ Luthier de l'Academie de Musique de Douai ancienne/ouvrier de M. J.B. Vuillaume de Paris

Further details:

  • Ribs and two-piece back highly flamed.

  • Internal signature: Paul Bailly 1875

  • Adaptation of Stradivari's forma B-piccolo


  • String length: 690mm

  • Length of back: 758mm

  • Upper / lower bout: 343mm / 437mm

Varnish description: Gradation of cedar to mahogany