This is a very fine viola bow by one of our favourite makers, Emile Auguste Ouchard. The condition is outstanding and the stick is strong with excellent grip.
EA Ouchard is rapidly emerging as one of the two giants of 20th century bow-making, and amongst bow aficionados he is perhaps even more appreciated than Sartory.
This bow was made in 1950 during Ouchard’s brief stay in Bataiva, Illinois, and it bears the stamp that he used during this period “Emile A. Ouchard” – in fact it’s stamped on both sides of the handle. The marks under the frog tell us that it was the 46th bow made in 1950.
The stick is of round section mid-brown pernambuco, mounts are silver and ebony, the frog with a Hill-style seating.
The condition of the bow is near-mint, and the lapping and thumb leather are original – Ouchard seems to have been inordinately fond of brown lizard skin! The only issue to point out is a small dent in the top of the head, otherwise there are no real signs of use.
In terms of playability this is a very typical EA Ouchard, a rather stiff and very powerful stick which nonetheless remains nervy and solistic. It has a brilliant sound with just a hint of coffee grounds, and it draws a big and complex tone. Weight and balance are absolutely in the middle of the range, and everything about this bow exudes professionalism and authority.
A great all-rounder and a very collectable bow too.