Two important houses of violin making and three makers formed the basis of the prolific and successful Parisian firm of Gand and Bernardel: Charles Nicolas Eugene Gand and the Bernardel brothers Gustave and Ernest. The firm was established as Gand & Bernardel Frères in 1866, after the death of Charles Eugène's brother Charles Adolphe Gand.
Charles Eugène Gand primarily learned the craft from his father Charles Francois, who himself was a pupil and son-in-law of Nicolas Lupot. The Bernardel brothers likewise studied with their father Auguste Sebastien Philippe, who was a student of both Charles François Gand and Nicolas Lupot. Strong ties bound the two firms together: Gand and Bernardel pères knew each other well, and their works shared a connection to the undisputed master and founding father of the French tradition, Lupot. After Ernest Bernardel's retirement in 1886 the firm continued as Gand & Bernardel.
Over 35 years in the business, the firm produced over a thousand instruments and bows, many of fine quality, and employed a great number of makers. Some of the more important bow makers of the firm include Charles Peccatte, Vigneron pere, Pierre Simon, Joseph Henry, Claude Thomassin, and Francois Nicolas Voirin, whose style had a profound impact on the workshop's bows. Most instruments are on classical Cremonese models, and a light brown to light red varnish is most common.
After Gand's death in 1892 Gustave Bernardel became the sole owner of the firm, which remained in his name until he sold it to Caressa & Francais upon his retirement in 1901.