Here we have an early Claude Thomassin made during his time at Gand & Bernardel – another exceptional bow from this highly individual maker.

Thomassin apprenticed in Mirecourt with CN Bazin, but when he came to Paris to work for Gand & Bernardel he found himself at the heart of French bow-making along with such talents as JA Vigneron and Charles Claude Husson. His bows from this period are very classical and precisely worked – clearly standards in the G&B shop were very high.

This bow is a great example of this earlier style – the ferrule still not unusually rounded but the model showing signs of Thomassin’s later very skeletal head.

The stick is of round section pernambuco, exquisitely flamed and highly refractive, honey brown in colour and very highly polished – quite the most beautiful stick we’ve seen on a Thomassin. Mounts are silver and ebony.

There are some minor dents to the player’s side of the stick behind the frog, some small blemishes to the top of the stick and a few small marks on the frog, otherwise the condition of the bow is excellent.

This bow just exudes warmth – the tone is round, the action is smooth, the balance is comfortable. It’s a bow which immediately feels like an old friend…

Thomassins of this period often seem to have this imperturbable and companionable nature – everything works, nothing feels jarring or abrasive. Quite a supple stick yet with a lively spring and good resistance, producing a noble tone with a minimum of effort.

There’s not much more to say about this bow – everything is in the right place, it looks beautiful and it sounds beautiful.

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