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. It also has a beautiful figure to the stick, which is of flamed orange-brown pernambuco, octagonal section. The frog is nickel-mounted with a plain pearl eye. Although nickel mounts generally denote a lower value bow, Klaus Gruenke informs me that he doesn’t apply any devaluation to nickel mounts for German bows of this age, and judges the value according to the quality of the wood and the fittings.
This is one of those bows you just can’t say anything about – put it in your hand and it immediately feels right. It’s a very strong stick with huge reserves of power, but it feels light and easy in the hand. The tone is big yet sophisticated, and the bow will do anything you ask of it. I would give this bow my highest recommendation, and it would outplay many French bows costing five times the price.
Dimensions: Length 74cm, weight 60 grams
Certificate: Hans-Karl Schmidt, Dresden 2012
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