Joseph Hel trained with Sebastien Vuillaume, Salzard and Darche before setting up on his own in Lille at the age of 23. He was appointed official luthier to the Lille Conservatory, a post he passed on to his son. He also won several prizes in international exhibitions, including in the United States. He was surprisingly prolific, making by some accounts, over 800 instruments of superior quality. This is one of the last instruments he made and is characteristically attractive, clear and sonorous.