French Violin Bows
This is a relatively modest Mirecourt bow stamped Pillot which plays superbly. The stick is of deep red pernambuco, mounts are ebony and nickel. The condition is excellent throughout, with the exception of the ebony collar of the adjuster which has two small cracks. More details
This is a very good Cuniot-Hury made by Emile F. Ouchard, who apprenticed with Eugene Cuniot-Hury and then took over the workshop in 1912. The model is characterized by a tall narrow head and a frog with a rounded heel – the plain adjuster of slightly greater diameter than the stick is also typical. The output of this workshop is vary varied in quality, but this is a lovely example, finely worked and with good wood. More details
This is a new bow by contemporary French maker Jacques Poullot. Like so many of the new wave of French makers, Poullot studied under Bernard Ouchard, but he is a highly respected maker in his own right. The bow we are offering for sale is his ‘Special Atelier’ model with a plain pearl eye, stick of round section red pernambuco, and sliver and ebony mounts. More details
This is a classic Mirecourt bow made by Roger Francois Lotte, branded Georges Coné & Fils Lyon. Lotte supplied a lot of unbranded bows like this to French violin-makers such as Coné. The mounts are not typical of Lotte – although they are a perfect fit and of fine quality, it seems wise to assume they aren’t original. The stick is of round section red pernambuco – the wire lapping appears original and everything is in excellent condition. More details
This is a very good silver-mounted Mirecourt bow stamped Leon Bernardel Paris. This brand was owned by the Cousenon firm, but most likely the bow was supplied by the Laberte workshops. Typical French features include the cuts to the corners of the ferrule and the visible transition from octagonal to round section beyond the end of the lapping. More details
This is one of two superb bows we have by this fine French maker. Ouchard apprenticed to Eugène Cuniot, and ended up running the firm of Cuniot-Hury after Cuniot’s death in 1910. From 1923 onwards, Ouchard worked under his own name along with his son Emile Auguste.
This is a very typical example of Ouchard’s work, with a rounded heel, finely tapered pearl slide, and his most classical head. The wood is beautifully flamed orange-brown pernaumbuco, round section, mounts are silver and ebony. The condition is excellent. More details
On trial, £8,000
Auguste Barbé is a highly respected maker who worked exclusively for Gand & Bernardel, and whose bows are regarded as equal to those of FN Voirin. Gand & Bernardel employed some of the great names in French bow-making (Joseph Henry and Pierre Simon perhaps the most famous), and their output was of the highest quality. This bow is typical of their later period, branded simply Gand & Bernardel rather than Gand & Bernardel Fres indicating a post-1885 date. The stick is of excellent orange-brown pernambuco, the frog is ebony with silver mounts. The head is exquisitely worked and vey artistic. More details
Recently sold, £8,500
The second of two superb bows we have by this fine French maker, this is a unique and collectable bow. Ouchard apprenticed to Eugène Cuniot, and ended up running the firm of Cuniot-Hury after Cuniot’s death in 1910. From 1923 onwards, Ouchard worked under his own name along with his son Emile Auguste.
This is a very interesting and stylish bow with a Vuillaume-style trench frog – Pierre Guillaume considers it an unusually fine example of Ouchard’s work. The wood is dark brown round section pernaumbuco of high quality, mounts are silver and ebony. The bow is in excellent condition. More details
Like so many of the better late 19th century makers, Joseph-Arthur Vigneron worked for Gand & Bernardel before setting up on his own. His bows are distinctive stylistically and in playing character, sometimes works of genius, sometimes a bit lumpy. This particular bow is one of the best playing bows I have come across!
The stick is of round section mid brown pernambuco with a strong flame, mounts are silver and ebony. In this case we have a plain pearl eye and a square heel, suggesting quite an early date. More details
Victor Fétique was an extremely productive maker – the first half of his working life was spent in the employ of CN Bazin and Caressa & Francais, subsequently he ran a busy workshop in his own name, and in 1925 received the honour of “Premier Archetier de France”. Fétique stamped bows are a bit of a nightmare, since his workshop bought in and finished some sticks from Markenukirchen, and the German makers in turn faked his brand. Fétique also made a large number of unbranded bows for other dealers or violin-makers. The only way through this morass is to entrust the identification to an expert, and in this case JF Raffin has confirmed that the bow is entirely the work of Victor Fétique, though sold by and branded Paul Jombar Paris. More details
Joseph-Arthur Vigneron is another of the great names in French bow-making. Like so many of the better late 19th century makers he worked for Gand & Bernardel before setting up on his own. He developed his own very successful model, rather more masculine than Voirin or Lamy, balanced a bit more to the heel, and with very exaggerated chamfers to the head. This is a typical example of his work – it was the much-loved first bow of a retired professional. More details
This is a very fine Joseph Alfred Lamy in excellent condition, stamped A Lamy à Paris. Lamy worked for FN Voirin until the latter’s death in 1885, then set up on his own producing bows of superb quality. This bow dates from Lamy’s earlier period – the plain eye set far back in the frog is typical of his work at this time. But unlike some bows from this period, this example has a strong stick and a perfect weight. Very much the ideal Lamy, it has a great sound, great technical quality and optimal antique value. More details