A superb Dominique Peccatte violin bow in fine pernambuco, mounts of silver and ebony. Some minor restoration and a replacement button – a fantastic example at a great price.

There can be few names that command as much respect as that of Dominique Peccatte. While Tourte can be said to have created the modern bow, Peccatte developed and stylized it in a way which influences bow-making to this day. The characteristic hatchet head and the slightly triangular cross-section are the most obvious features, but the quality of the wood and the precision of the graduations are also critical to their success.

This particular example is made from very dense darkish brown pernambuco with a modest figure – mounts are silver and ebony. From a structural point of view the stick is in great condition, but there’s a small area of filler in the very top of the head. As with most Peccatte school bows of this period, the metalwork tends to get lost, and the adjuster and the heel plates are replacements, made in copy by Sylvain Bigot.

Good Dominique Peccatte bows are rather like good Strads – in themselves they aren’t particularly dramatic. You might pick one up and fail to be amazed. But compare them to any other bow and they just work better and sound better. This particular bow has a great stick, strong yet light, beautifully balanced, drawing a big tone which is at once full and bright, clear and projecting. Not all Dominique Peccattes are strong, but this bow is a killer – it seems to me to embody everything that players admire in this maker’s work.

No-one would have the nerve to pretend that this bow is cheap, but in fact it represents excellent value for money. The restoration is irrelevant to the strength or the playing qualities of the bow, and the aesthetics are unaffected.
So if you’re a player looking for a top-level bow by perhaps the greatest maker of all time, yet you don’t want to pay a collector’s price for a pristine example, this is a rare opportunity.

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