Gillet served his apprenticeship in Mirecourt, finishing his time there in the shop of J.T. Lamy before heading off to the front line, conscripted to the infantry in WWI. After sustaining injuries in the line of duty, he was hospitalised in Châlon-sur-Saône.
It was here he met and married his wife before moving back to Mirecourt to work with Laberte. After a few years, he and his wife moved back to the place they first met and he set up independently for the first time, all the while maintaining a close working relationship with Fetique.
In 1934, this relationship to an end, forming ties with Eugene Sartory. The two worked together tirelessly, becoming ever closer, professionally and personally. Sartory's death in 1946 brought this partnership to a sudden close & Sartory again had to find employment. He began working with his son-in-law, Georges Dupuy. This rocky relationship was doomed from the off and things quickly came to a head, leading to Gillet's professional independence again in 1960.
The last 10 years of his life produced some of his most elegant work - richly mounted with gold and tortoiseshell/ebony.
This cello bow, c.1950, is an excellent example of his work. It has a strong stick made from characterful Pernambuco, and a long, swan-like nose. Its frog is from high-quality ebony and sits in Hill-style fittings. It's doubtful that the inspiration for these fittings came from England however more likely from J.B. Vuillaume. He had a rich and colourful career, working with a broad tapestry of luthiers and remains one of the greatest French bow makers of the 20th C.
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