Étienne Pajeot is one of the most important figures in the history of bow-making. This example is a top class player’s bow in very fine condition The original frog is an experimental open ebony frog – we are offering the bow with an additional and more workable copy frog made by Yannick Le Canu.

There are very few people involved in historic bows who aren’t crazy about Pajeot. He produced some of the most artistic bows of the 19th century, and was also a relentless innovator. He experimented heavily with different ways of hairing the bow, and during his working life his head model evolved out of all recognition. But above all he is revered for the genius of his sticks, and for some of the best performing bows ever made.

Here we have a relatively early Pajeot with a very refined head reminiscent of the father Louis Simon Pajeot. The stick is of octagonal section dark brown pernambuco of superb quality. The original frog is an open trench frog of plain ebony – the copy frog is silver and ebony, and styled on a known Pajeot frog from the same period. The button is original.

The condition of the stick is very good – there’s one small filled insect hole in the lower facet of the stick around the mid-point, and a tiny lift in the grain of the top of the head. The original frog is unblemished.

In terms of pricing we consider this bow as a very fine and complete early Pajeot in original condition, suitable for a period player or a collector. The bow is offered here in modernised form with a copy frog that can be rehaired normally, but this in no way compromises the completeness or authenticity of the bow. Just remember to keep the original frog in a safe place!

I’m a big fan of Pajeot bows – we have sold three in as many years – but this one is a knockout. It has a big rounded tone with a beautiful shimmer, giving a solistic edge to the sound. It’s a great performer off the string – just perfectly graduated and cambered. The legato is firm and deep, and there’s something very satisfying about the fullness of the stick around the fingers. And then there’s the added tonal complexity that seems to come with wood-to-wood mounts.

All in all this is a really great bow. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, and I can say with absolute certainty that it doesn’t play like a Sartory. But if you are the right player this bow will give you a giddy feeling of exhilaration, and you will never want to put it down.

I think it would be most at home in the hands of a soloist or concertmaster specializing in classical and baroque repertoire.

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