Claude Joseph Fonclause Violin Bow, Mirecourt circa 1830


Claude Joseph Fonclause Violin Bow
Joseph Fonclause is a rare maker whose work is highly appreciated by soloists. There we have a fine early example in excellent condition – a very powerful stick with a great tone.

At the time this bow was made, Fonclause was almost certainly a close collaborator of Pajeot’s, and the style is very similar, albeit with a sightly squarer head and a more elegant and shallow frog. Fonclause later went to work with Vuillaume, and produced some beautiful bows in the manner of Pierre Simon, but it’s these early Mirecourt bows with wood to wood mounts (no metal underslide) that are sought out by soloists.

This particular example has a round section stick of beautifully flamed orange pernambuco – mounts are silver and ebony.

The condition is excellent – there are a few small marks to the stick but no shakes, lifts or digs.The frog has 3 or 4 very neatly repaired checks.

In performance this bow is much closer to Tourte and Persoit than to the bows of the post-Vuillaume world. The stick is strong yet supple, and it sits in the strings rather than on them. The sound is very much part of the instrument too – many leading players now prefer plain wood mounts, and it does seem to enhance the connection between the player and the sound.

The tonal quality of this bow is rich and creamy without sacrificing edge, and from a technical point of view the stick is outstanding – very easy broad legato, but also an effortless and highly controlled staccato.

An outstanding bow in all respects.

Mounts: s/e

Dimensions: weight 62.2 grams, length 74cm

Certificate: Pierre Gullaume, Maison Bernard, Brussels 2018 Claude Joseph Fonclause Violin Bow certificate

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Claude Joseph Fonclause Violin Bow base photo Claude Joseph Fonclause Violin Bow frog photo
Claude Joseph Fonclause Violin Bow head photo Claude Joseph Fonclause Violin Bow tip photo


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Ref: SR192

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