EA Ouchard is probably the greatest of 20th century French makers, and this is the finest example we have seen. Gold mounted, spectacular wood, amazing condition, and most importantly a great player’s bow.

By reason of his massive output, Sartory has achieved more name recognition than any other 20th century maker, but I rate EA Ouchard more highly. A tireless experimenter and a great stylist, his bows are just more exciting!

Here we have a gold mounted example in exceptional condition dating from his first period working independently from his father. It’s a classic model, but made with such an exquisite sense of form that it’s a world away from his father’s work.

The stick is of round section highly flamed red-brown pernambuco. Mounts are gold and ebony with matching rose tinted mother of pearl. The whalebone lapping and the ivory face are original (apart from the extreme tip) – the thumb leather is also original, and although it’s a bit worn we have retained it since this might be relevant to a collector.

The condition is excellent – there are a couple of small dents in the stick, and there’s a tiny loss to the rear edge of the frog on the audience side. Otherwise the bow is beautifully presented.

This is most definitely a modern bow, with a strong spring and great resistance, but it’s also more subtle and sophisticated than many bows by this maker. To my mind it’s an ideal combination of power and delicacy, all wrapped up in a very beautiful package. If you’re a “big hitter” you will probably want to put a gold lap on this bow and bring it up to 61/62 grams, but for me it’s ideal as it is.

The sound is big, immediate and clear and the stick is positive and articulate. This is a firm bow but with a nice give in the middle, excellent grip and very good definition. It does everything well, it’s steady as a rock on and off the string.

Overall, an outstanding example from this maker and a real collector’s piece too.

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