This is a rare viola bow by Charles Peccatte, bearing the authentic Peccatte brand. It has a strong but supple stick that produces a beautiful velvety sound.

Charles Peccatte was the grandson of Dominique Peccatte, and he apprenticed for 5 years in the Vuillaume shop – an illustrious pedigree indeed. It would be fair to describe him as the last maker of the Peccatte school – the innovation and modernity which Voirin brought to bow-making seem to have largely passed him by!

But this is the very reason his bows are highly sought after – they tend to sound very good, and this bow is a case in point.

The stick is of octagonal section speckled red pernambuco of unusual quality. Mounts are silver and ebony.

The condition is generally excellent, though the bottom surface of the frog has had a bit of maltreatment at the hands of an impatient restorer who obviously couldn’t free the pearl slide! There’s some modest wear to the handle, but otherwise the bow is very well preserved.

I like this bow a lot – it has the suppleness crucial to a great viola bow without ever feeling weak. The sound is rounded and slightly coloured – somehow managing to emphasise the core of the note but also refined and airy.

This is not an aggressive bow, it’s a thing of subtlety and nuance – it just makes other bows sound a bit crude! It would be the ideal bow to tame a rather ragged sounding viola.

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