This is a superb early Sartory viola bow in excellent condition – a beautifully balanced stick with very fine playing qualities.

Sartory viola bows are like hen’s teeth, and to find a nice early example in this kind of condition is impossibly rare.

Eugène Sartory had a long and productive career, and he is much appreciated by modern musicians, but there’s no denying that his later production became a bit clunky. Sartory enthusiasts inevitably gravitate towards his earlier work which is lighter, more austere and more personal.

This lovely bow from around 1910 has a very refined head reminiscent of Voirin, the stick is of very dark red pernambuco (round section) and the frog shows an unusually delicate Parisian eye.

The condition is outstanding – this is a bow that has really been looked after. Prices for these bows continue to rise alarmingly, and there can be few more solid investments than a clean early Sartory.

From a player’s perspective everything about this bow is spot on – the weight, the balance, the resistance in the stick…

Later Sartorys can be quite insensitive, but this bow feels at once surgical and profoundly musical. It has a deep core tone but there’s also plenty of shimmer, it has huge energy in reserve but it also feels easy and comfortable.

A serious bow for an accomplished professional or a collector.

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