This is a superb viola bow by Charles Nicolas Bazin, perhaps the most under-appreciated of the Mirecourt makers. It’s in near-mint condition and it’s a versatile and brilliant player.
This is exactly the sort of bow we dream about – all original, beautiful wood, top condition, a fine example of the maker’s work, and a great player. Bows like this are getting harder to find and they command a bit of a premium.
CN Bazin was a maker with considerable flair – he also had a feel for business, and his influence spread outwards through the many violin-makers who bought from him and the many apprentices he trained.
This bow was made for Ch. JB Collin-Mézin and was doubtless supplied with one of his violas. The stick is of round section deep red pernambuco, plain but dense – mounts are silver and ebony, the back of the frog at a typical “racing” angle to the stick.
The condition is exceptional wih no wear whatsoever. There are some tiny abrasions to the audience side of the head, otherwise the condition is mint.
The first thing to say is that this isn’t a shy bow, nor is it particularly mellow. The wood is dense and the stick has been worked quite fine – the resulting tone is bright and quite explosive.
While orchestral players favour a darker core, this is much more of a soloist’s bow. Nervy yet strong, with bags of attack and crunch, and with a lot of high frequency emphasis. Once you get used to the level of energy the bow brings to the instrument it’s great fun to play.
If you need to hear yourself better or if you need to liven up a sludgy instrument then this bow would be a solid choice. It’s also a highly collectable example of this maker’s work.