Claude Thomassin is one of the most undervalued makers of the early 20th century, and his bows are finally being recognized for their originality. Although still affordable, we are seeing values rising quite dramatically in the last 3-4 years. This example has a typically direct yet refined sound – the condition is excellent though the adjuster is a later copy.
Thomassin apprenticed with Charles Nicholas Bazin, and then worked for the prestigious firm of Gand & Bernardel along with many other great makers such as Husson, Barbé and Vigneron. His own model is inspired by Voirin, though even more elegant and pared down, the sticks narrow, the head upright and almost skeletal. And then of course there’s the famous Thomassin ferrule – subtly rounded in this period, but becoming more and more exaggerated and Tubbs-like as his career progressed.
Thomassin produced many bows for other dealers and violin-makers, and it’s always nice to see one such as this bearing his own brand.
This example has an octagonal section stick of attractively speckled light brown pernambuco. Mounts are silver and ebony.
There are no condition issues to report.
The first good bow we ever sold was a Thomassin, and I’ve always been a fan of this maker. Working for Gand & Bernardel was the best training imaginable, akin to working for Vuillaume 40 years earlier, and Thomassin bows are always elegant and functional.
This bow is ideally balanced, the spring is just so, and the sound is somehow “concentrated” in a way I expect of this maker. It feels as if you just need a bit less bow to make the same impact…
Good traction and control throughout the length of the bow, and a general character which is at once intense and playful.
All in all a very interesting bow for a nuanced player, and made slightly more affordable than usual thanks to the replaced adjuster.