a Maison Bernard was founded by Nicolas Bernard and his brother Victor in Liège in 1868, and initially specialised in the manufacture and selling of pianos. The Bernards worked in Liège, Paris and Brussels.

André Bernard (1869-1959) succeeded his father Nicolas and turned to violin- and bow-making. He trained at Gand et Bernardel from 1886 to 1889, at the same time as Eugène Sartory, who both taught him bow-making and became his friend.
Back in Liège, André Bernard began to manufacture violins, violas, cellos and even double basses.

André's sons Joseph (1911-1940) and Jacques Bernard (1919-1992) were trained by their father and began to take over the workshop in 1930. After Joseph's premature death in the early days of the war, Jacques found himself in sole charge of the workshop. He was also interested in the violin's ancestors and made mediaeval fiddles and rebecs. He was appointed official violin-maker of the Liège International String Quartet and Violin-making Competition and restored the instruments in the collection of the Brussels Museum of Musical Instruments. A founding member of the Groupement des Luthiers et Archetiers d'Art de France, he was also the curator of the Mirecourt National Museum of french violin making.

Jacques Bernard was less interested in signatures than in the quality and make of instruments. This led him to considerably enlarge his knowledge of woods, shapes and manufacturing methods.

Mario Bernard-Budanko ( 1940- ), a bow-maker and the adopted son of Jacques Bernard, trained with André Morizot of Mirecourt before working for Maison Bernard in Liège and Brussels. Now retired, he has nevertheless remained in close contact with Jan Strick and Pierre Guillaume and provides moral support.

Jacques Bernard took Jan Strick under his wing in 1976, and Pierre Guillaume in 1980. He supplied them with training and guidance, and in 1986 transferred the firm and its traditions to them. It was on his advice that Maison Bernard moved to Brussels.

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