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.
The stick is of round section dark red pernambuco with a strong flame, mounts are silver and ebony. The condition is very good, with only a minor loss at the nose to keep it from being impeccable.
This is not a controversial bow. It sits squarely in the middle of things and manages to be everything at once. Elegant, sprightly, warm and full, reliable and rounded but still exciting. It might best be described as a poor man’s Sartory, with a similar robust and chocolatey sound and a similar technical adaptability. A great French bow at an affordable price.
Certificate : JF Raffin, Paris 2015
Dimensions: Length 74.5cm, weight 59 grams (tinsel lapping)
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