René François Lacôte

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René François Lacôte (also Pierre René Lacôte , * approx. 1785; † probably after 1868) was a French guitar maker who worked with the leading guitarists of his time.


Little information is available about the biographical details of Lacôte's life, the year and place of birth are unknown, and there is even uncertainty about the year of his death. It is given in many sources as 1855, but Sinier De Ridder refer to an instrument that was supposedly made by Lacôte in 1868. There is also some confusion about the name. While René François has predominantly prevailed, some biographers use Pierre René . A Brevet d'invention issued in 1826 is also made out to Pierre René .

Lacôte was trained by César Pons (1748–1831) in Grenoble until around 1819 . Pons and his sons Joseph and Louis-David were renowned instrument makers, among others the French Empress Marie-Louise ordered a guitar from Joseph Pons for her favorite guitarist Mauro Giuliani .


Napoléon Coste with a heptachorde built by Lacôte (left).

After completing his training, Lacôte went to Paris and started his own business as an instrument maker. In the first half of the 19th century, Paris was the center of early romantic guitar playing. Lacôte worked there with the leading guitarists of his era. So he developed a guitar with a double soundboard for Dionisio Aguado . It is believed that Lacôte also functionally developed Aguados Tripodison .

Together with Ferdinando Carulli he developed a ten-string harp guitar ( Décachorde ), for which Carulli also wrote a textbook ( Méthode Complète pour le Décacorde ). The instrument was played on the five treble strings with the tuning ehgdA, while the five bass strings in the tuning GFEDC should be played empty. The Décachorde was registered for a patent in 1826.

He had a long collaboration with Napoléon Coste . In 1835, Lacôte developed a seven-string guitar ( heptachorde ) together with Coste, and later Coste himself worked on the guitars produced by Lacôte to improve the bridge and tailpiece. With a heptachorde , Lacôte won prizes at the Exposition des produits de l'industrie française in 1839 and 1844 . From the mid-1830s, Lacôte began to sell his instruments in England, initially through English dealers, and from 1845 with his own shop in London. The last known instrument by René François Lacôte dates from 1868.

Lacôte popularized a number of improvements in guitar making. This includes

  • new bracing of the ceiling
  • systematic use of mechanisms on openwork head plates
  • ten-, nine- and seven-string instruments.


  • Sylvie Dubois: René Lacote et Etienne Laprevotte: deux luthiers parisiens du XIXe siècle . o. O. 1980
  • Joel Dugot: "Napoléon Coste et René Lacote". In: Les Cahiers de la guitare et de la musique . No. 70, April 1999
  • Bruno Marlat: The LACOTE-COSTE Guitar . Liner Notes for Brigitte Zaczek: Romantic Guitar II . Vienna 2005
  • Danielle Ribouillault: “La décacorde de Carulli et Lacote”. In: Les Cahiers de la guitare et de la musique . No. 13, January 1985
  • Daniel Sinier, Françoise de Ridder: La guitare: Paris 1650-1950 . Turin 2007. ISBN 978-88-87618-09-9

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Daniel Sinier, Françoise de Ridder: LACOTE à Paris . PDF
  2. Gregg Miner with recourse to Bruno Marlat
  3. Brevet d'invention de cinq ans, pur une guitare à dix cordes appelée dècacorde, aux sieurs Lacote (Pierre-Rèné), luthier, et Carully (Ferdinand), compositeur de musique à Paris from Dec. 15, 1826. Facsimile
  4. Daniel Sinier, Françoise de Ridder: LACOTE à Paris . PDF
  5. Daniel Sinier, Françoise de Ridder: LACOTE and Aguado: about a Tripodison . PDF
  6. ^ Ferdinando Carulli: Méthode Complète pour le Décachorde. Facsimile (PDF; 1.6 MB)
  7. Napoléon Coste: Méthode pour la Guitare compléte par Ferdinand Sor, rédigée et augmentée de nombreux exemples et leçons suivi d'une notice sur la corde 7e . Paris 1851, p. 45, facsimile (PDF; 4.4 MB)
  8. Bruno Marlat: The LACOTE-COSTE Guitar . Liner Notes for Brigitte Zaczek: Romantic Guitar II . Vienna 2005
  9. Daniel Sinier, Françoise de Ridder: LACOTE à Paris . PDF
  10. cf. the one from Rodgers today ( Memento of the original of July 27, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Lacote-type machine heads manufactured @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /