Claude Thomassin is a maker whose star is rising rapidly, and we are always delighted to offer his bows. Here we have a fine viola bow in excellent condition – it’s a powerful stick with a powerful sound.
Like most of the great bow-makers of the turn of the century, Thomassin served his time with Gand & Bernardel, and his work shows the artistry and precision that was expected of this great firm’s employees.
Thomassins bows have always stood out from the crowd, partly on account of the very refined head shape, but mainly because of the famous rounded or “catfish” ferrule seen on all his later work such as this bow, which dates from around 1920 and carries Thomassin’s own brand.
The stick is of octagonal section orange-brown pernambuco with a very attractive speckled figure, mounts are silver and ebony. The condition is excellent with very little wear – just a few little nibbles to the top third of the stick.
The main reason we like Thomassin is that his bows play so well. This viola bow is ideal for a bold player and a larger instrument – it’s a hefty bow yet it has a nervy spring and it feels effortless in the hand. The sound is big and rounded with a nice growl on the C string, but the response is nimble enough for tricky repertoire. There’s also enough suppleness in the stick to get a lovely warmth of tone.
All in all, a very well-rounded and adaptable bow of the highest quality.