This is a remarkable early gold mounted bow by Etienne Pajeot, perhaps the most fascinating and innovative of all French makers. It’s an exceptional playing bow – the frog has some restoration but the stick is very well preserved.

This bow is one of the earliest examples of the work of Etienne Pajeot. It shows a clear development from the work of his father Louis Simon, particularly in the shape of the head which nods clearly in the direction of Tourte. The frog is also more modern, though it retains the same concept for tongue and ferrule – the decorated button is very similar to the father’s later work.

The stick is of octagonal section orange pernambuco with a very broad figure – mounts are gold and ebony with an original gold face. In the opinion of Pierre Guillaume the button may have come from another bow. However, the gold of the button matches the gold of the original face, so it’s also possible that the gold on the frog has been renewed or replaced. In all events, all parts are Etienne Pajeot!

The condition of the stick is excellent, with no issues to report. The frog has a cheval just above the pearl eye, and there is a beautifully repaired crack running back from the ferrule on the player’s side.

Although from a historical point of view this is a transitional bow, it’s perfectly suited to modern repertoire, and its playing qualities are comparable to those of a good Tourte or Persoit.

The sound is broad and enveloping yet crystal clear. The articulacy of this bow feels a bit like using the sharpness filter on Photoshop – everything is crisper and more defined. The downside of a bow like this is that you need to know what you’re doing – but for an accomplished player it offers a level of control and nuance that’s very difficult to find in more modern bows.

Priced very sensibly to take account of the restoration, this is a top level bow for an accomplished player.

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