Sebastian Foron’s cello is one which was built around 1720 in Paris by Claude Pierray. It counts among those very few instruments made by this master craftsman which take as their inspiration the model developed by Antonius Stradivari.
This model was developed only in the last decade of the 17th Century in Stradivari’s workshop in Cremona. The instrument played by Sebastian Foron represents, then, a particularly beautiful testimony to an interesting cultural-historical circumstance: namely, with what intensity information was, already at this period, being exchanged between Cremona and Paris. Foron’s cello represents an application, by the Parisian master, of those “ideal proportions” just discovered by his Italian colleague.
This means that the cello is noticeably larger and flatter than those most typically produced in Paris at the time. Unfortunately, Claude Pierray died just a little later, at the age of 31, and subsequent Parisian violin- and cello-makers tended, right up until the beginning of the 19th Century, to favour once again the small, “pot-bellied” model of cello less suitable for solo performances.
It was only Nicolas Lupot, probably the greatest of all French violin- and cello-makers, who re-discovered and revived this Stradivarian model. Lupot’s brother, Francois Lupot, moreover, was a key figure in the development of the modern French violin- and cello-bow.
Sebastian Foron plays with a bow of Francois Lupot’s, made around 1820.