Dominique Peccatte bows are highly prized for their playing qualities, and this one is a dream, strong yet supple in a uniquely 19th century way. The frog is also Dominique Peccatte but from another bow, and the price reflects this.

Of all the outstanding makers who passed through the Vuillaume shop, Peccatte has risen to pole position, eclipsing even Persoit in the marketplace. Perhaps the reason for this is that his bows, while retaining the unique sonic qualities of the early makers, are entirely suited to modern playing styles.

Here we have a beautiful composite Peccatte – the stick of excellent red-brown pernambuco with a dramatic swirl, the frog silver and ebony from a different bow of the same period.

The condition of the stick is unusually good with hardly any signs of use. The frog has suffered the usual fate of Peccatte frogs and has two cracks in the thumb projection and a small break below the underslide on the player’s side. The ferrule, always so thin on Peccatte school bows, has been doubled on the inside with nickel.

I don’t think I’ve ever come across a Dominique Peccatte which wasn’t a great player, but even in the thin air at the top of the highest peaks you find great ones and really great ones! This one is about as good as they get – stiff enough for a modern technique, supple enough to magic up that golden tone, supremely adaptable and malleable. A real life partner for a top level player…

If you are thinking of investing in a Peccatte, you don’t need me to tell you what makes them special. The dilemma here is whether to go with a composite which offers the very best in playability at a lower price, or to hold out for an all original example with an equally exceptional stick. If you don’t mind waiting for a decade, then paying a small fortune for a bow which you will be nervous about using, go for the second option!

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