This is a very blingy Tourte model bow made from excellent Brazilian pernambuco, assembled and finished by Alecio Luiz Dos Reis, a young Brazilian maker living in the UK. It represents excellent value for money. The stick is of dark brown round section pernambuco, mounts are silver and ebony. More details
These new bows are made from high quality Brazilian pernambuco, and are assembled and finished by Alecio Reis, a young Brazilian maker living in the UK. This example has a Hill-style unlined ebony frog – the stick is round section. More details
Recently sold, £2,250
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
I have a real soft spot for Gustav Prager, and particularly for the more ornamental bows that he made. At the moment we have two of his bows in the same model, with a shield motif on the frog and a decorative adjuster. 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
If you asked me to name one make of bow that I would buy without even trying it, I would say “HR Pfretzschner pre-1940”. There are very few makers who have produced such consistently elegant and usable sticks. More details
On trial, £3,500
It’s great to see the violin world finally waking up to the qualities of good German bows. There is absolutely no difference in quality of work or playability between fine French and German bows, and this Pfretzschner proves the point perfectly. Very elegant, made with superb materials, and a joy to use. More details
On trial, £3,500
This a lovely Hill bow by Arthur Copley, silver mounted, and with its original whalebone lapping. Although it bears the WE Hill & Son stamp reserved for their best bows, it’s a bit tatty here and there, hence the bargain price. There are no significant condition issues, but the frog is chipped and has a repaired crack, the stick’s a bit nibbled here and there, and the silver face plate is slightly dented. More details
This is a lovely Hill bow from the late 1940s, bearing no maker’s mark on the face but probably the work of Arthur Brown. The bow is branded WE H&S – Hill bows were sorted into 4 grades before branding, WE H&S being the second level of quality. This example is in perfect condition, dead straight and without defect– it’s made of octagonal section dark brown pernambuco, and has plain ebony mounts with a silver ferrule and face. The frog is mounted with a full pearl slide and heel, and the adjuster is silver. More details
This is a great Ouchard stick with replacement mounts. Composite bows such as this one give a player the opportunity to buy a fine and fully functional stick at a bargain price. More details
Collin-Mézin is one of the best known names in the violin trade, and their violins show great artistry and attention to detail. The bows bearing the firm’s brand are equally desirable – the majority, like this one, made by the Morizot workshop in Mirecourt under the direction of Louis Morizot. More details
This is an unusually good Piernot bow made for Chanot-Chardon and carrying their brand. It’s in exceptional condition and it plays beautifully. More details
Everyone agrees, if you can’t afford a good French bow, get a Nürnberger! Still going strong after over 100 years, the bows from the turn of the century are becoming increasingly collectable. More details
This is a very fine early 20th century Tourte model Nürnberger bow, bearing a “Saxony” brand on the underside of the stick behind the frog. The stick is of octagonal section red-brown pernambuco, mounts are silver and ebony. The condition is exceptional, with no issues to report. More details
On trial, £7,000
You can recognize a Bernard Ouchard bow from a mile away – highly distinctive styling, beautiful workmanship, and always a touch of bling. Aside from being a very pretty object, this bow is an outstanding player which ticks all the boxes, and does great credit to its maker and to the illustrious Ouchard name. More details
This is a superb gold and tortoiseshell mounted Hill bow from the 1970s. The bow is branded WE Hill & Son, this brand being reserved for the best quality of sticks. However, we don’t need the brand to tell us what the quality of the bow is, since gold and tortoiseshell Hills are the pinnacle of their output. More details
This is a classic Knopf bow made for the firm of Ludwig Bausch in Leipzig. Many great bows were produced by this shop, either by the Bausch family themselves or by various members of the Knopf family. Johann Wilhelm Knopf (1835-1912) made bows under his own stamp, and from a study of these we are able to establish that he was responsible for this bow. Some general features of the Knopf school are immediately apparent – the massive plain pearl eye and the distinctive rounded cut to the adjuster collar are the most noticeable. The head with its Simon-like bell shape is specific to Johann Wilhelm.
The stick is finely worked orange pernambuco of round section, mounts are silver and ebony. The condition of the bow is excellent. 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
Hill bows are loved the world over for their reliability and exquisite workmanship. Here we have a rare gold mounted Pajeot model bow, probably the work of Sydney Yeoman. 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
This is a superb collectable bow by one of the most obscure members of the Knopf bow-making dynasty, which dominated the German trade in the 19th century. I’ve gradually become aware of the spectacular playing qualities of good Knopf bows, mainly on the context of the bows made for Kittel and for the great mid/late 19th century firms such as Ludwig Bausch and Richard Weichold. But this bow is a stand-out – in near mint condition, with an excellent certificate, and with fantastic playing qualities. More details
We always try to keep a couple of James Tubbs violin bows on the website – perhaps that gives a clue as to how I rate him as a maker! His model is individual and very distinctive with long buttons, long rounded ferrules, the head broad and elegant, always with a silver face. This example from Tubbs’ later period is typical – very dark brown pernambuco, silver and ebony mounts, the plain ebony frog with its square heel characteristic of the period. The stick is in great condition – there’s a bit of scratching to the player side of the frog and handle, and the pearl slide is a replacement, otherwise no issues. 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
Recently sold, £12,000
I have to admit that I’ve woken up rather belatedly to the qualities of a fine Tubbs. The wood in his bows is very variable, and some seem just too soft or light to be useful. But the bows he made with strong and dense wood like this one are amazing. His model is individual and very distinctive with long buttons, long rounded ferrules, the head broad and elegant, always with a silver face. More details
This is an outstanding later period Tubbs bow in great condition. The round section stick is of dark red-brown pernambuco, mounts are silver and ebony. The frog is plain and the adjuster slightly shorter than on a middle period bow. It’s quite rare to see a Tubbs in this sort of condition – there’s minimal wear to the stick and the frog, and all the silver is crisp and undamaged. 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
Emile Auguste Ouchard is just one of those names …! Everyone who has been around bows will look lively if you show them an EA Ouchard. His work is supremely neat, and the playability of his bows is second to none – while Sartory has the sexier name, EA Ouchard consistently produced better bows. More details
Around the turn of the 20th century there was no shortage of great bow-makers in Paris, but Lamy has always been a special name for me. I love the refinement of these bows and their extraordinary sound. They tend not to suit orchestral sluggers, but they have always been popular with players who value expression and nuance. More details
Nicolas Maline, also known confusingly as Guillaume Maline, is quite a maverick figure from the Golden period of French bow-making. Even his dates are disputed, as is the question of whether or not he worked for Vuillaume. However, his work is unique and distinctive, and of the highest quality. 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
This is a very fine Lamy Fils in near pristine condition, stamped A Lamy A Paris. Lamy bows have always been popular with players, and this particular bow would be pretty hard to beat for sound or for technical quality. The stick is of round section red brown pernambuco, with silver and ebony mounts. The bow is an exceptional piece for a collector, and retains its original tinsel lapping and thumb leather. The condition is pretty much mint – so much so that I have hesitated to even buff up the silver! Yes it’s not cheap, but you will never see another Lamy in this kind of condition. More details
A very strong Sartory violin bow in excellent condition, all parts original.
I suppose that most people’s list of “French bows to die for” would read Dominique Peccatte, Joseph Henry, Pierre Simon, FN Voirin in that order. There are more beautifully made bows, there are more historic bows, but these four makers have stood the test of time when it comes to their reputation amongst great players. More details
Etienne Pajeot is one of the great early French makers, and his bows are highly sought after for their excellent technical qualities. A fine Pajeot is eminently suitable for modern technique, though the strength of the sticks makes them particularly suitable for soloists. More details
Etienne Pajeot is one of the great early French makers, and his bows are highly sought after for their excellent technical qualities. This particular bow is an exceptionally well preserved early example and is highly collectable. More details
A superb Dominique Peccatte violin bow in fine pernambuco, mounts of silver and ebony. Some minor restoration and a replacement button – a fantastic example at a great price.
This isn’t just any old French bow – it’s a Sartory. It isn’t just any old Sartory, it’s a gold mounted Sartory. It isn’t just any old gold mounted Sartory, it’s a rare Peccatte model gold mounted Sartory. It isn’t just any old rare Peccatte model gold mounted Sartory, it’s the one that used to belong to Jacques Thibaud. More details