This is an outstanding violin bow by André Richaume, one of the finest and best preserved examples in existence. Kind of a “super-Sartory”, this bow’s playing qualities won’t disappoint.

André Richaume is a maker whose star has risen rapidly, and he’s probably the most popular maker from the post-Sartory era. Richaume came from a bow-making family, and worked at one time with both of his uncles Victor and Jules Fétique. His later bows are heavily influenced by Sartory, and the model he used is very similar. The materials are always beautiful, and his workmanship is exquisite.

This example is one of the 50 or so gold and tortoiseshell bows that Richaume is known to have made. The stick is of round section orange pernambuco of excellent quality. It’s in near-mint condition with very few signs of use other than some minimal wear to the finish on the underside of the stick.

This bow draws a huge sound without being coarse or grainy. It has excellent adhesion, there’s a very satisfying attack to the note, and there’s a distinct and very musical high frequency shimmer throughout the register.

Richaumes can be a bit stiff, but this example strikes a very good balance between power and nuance – it’s not tiring to play in spite of its surprising muscularity.

Although this bow is probably destined for a collection, it proves that Richaume justifies his excellent reputation, and I really can’t find fault with it.

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