The mysterious code now revealed after 170 years since Gand & Bernardel first used it on their sales ledgers. Gand & Bernardel were French violin dealers during the 1800’s. They used this code to protect the purchase prices, reserve price, final selling price and the repair price of over 2,500 instruments in their shop at Paris. Jean-Philippe Échard, the Musée de la Musique custodian of stringed bowed instrument collection, deciphered and cracked the code. Computer scientist and cryptographer Pierrick Gaudry helped him decipher the code.
Researchers found out that the code was introduced two years after Charles-François, the head of the workshop was succeeded by his son Charles- Adolphe Gand which dates back mid – 1874. Gand together with his business partners Ernest Bernardel and Gustave including his successors continues to use the code which encrypts numbers into letters until 1921. According to some research, the code was probably employed by Gand to hide significant prices from customers who looked into their sales ledger or to cover up the figures from tax collectors.