FN Voirin Violin Bow, Paris circa 1885


FN Voirin Violin Bow
FN Voirin is one of the few truly great makers, and this bow is one of the finest examples in existence, with gold and tortoiseshell mounts and a very rare WE Hill stamp. An exceptional collector’s piece.

Everyone accepts that FN Voirin was a phenomenal craftsman, reaching previously unscaled heights of artistry and precision, and throwing down the gauntlet for every maker who followed. It’s accepted that some of his bows are too light for modern players, so everyone keeps a lookout for the stronger sticks, and these bows are quite a profound experience!

In every maker’s canon of work we see variations in quality and in choice of materials – a gold and tortoiseshell bow is the highest quality, and the maker would choose these materials either to match an exceptional piece of pernambuco, or for a special commission.

This bow is doubly special because it’s one of a small number of Voirins known which were made for WE Hill before the establishment of the WE Hill & Sons workshop. As far as we know, Voirin was the only French maker who supplied WE Hill – most of the WE Hill branded bows are by James Tubbs or other members of the Tubbs family.

And then there’s the condition – this is the icing on the cake. The bow is near mint. The stick is entirely without blemish – the frog is also pristine with no signs of use. The only issue to report is a very small flaw in the tortoiseshell behind the ferrule on the audience side – you can see this in the photo showing the WE Hill brand.

I can’t pretend to have spent hours playing with this bow – it’s just too precious! However, it only takes a few minutes to recognize that it’s a truly great Voirin. A very dense stick, worked very thin, with graduations which are absolutely spot on. The weight is 57.9 grams with a light tinsel lapping, and the balance is ideal with this set-up.

The sound is a bullet – super-clean, full and muscular, with intense high frequency content for maximum projection. And yet the bow doesn’t feel stiff or unrelenting – it’s very comfortable, and supremely easy to get in motion. On and off the string it’s completely realised.

All in all this is one of the best Voirins in the world – I say this without exaggeration. We are very proud to be offering it here.

Mounts: gold/tortoiseshell

Dimensions: length 74.5cm, weight 57.9 grams

Certificate: Rafin-Le Canu-Bigot Paris 2015

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FN Voirin Violin Bow base photo FN Voirin Violin Bow frog photo
FN Voirin Violin Bow head photo FN Voirin Violin Bow tip photo
FN Voirin Violin Bow brand  


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