François Peccatte has always stood in the shadow of his older brother, but without good reason. He lived a very short life, and his bows are so much rarer and less well known – he also used a wide range of exotic woods, and these bows are quite illogically less valued than their pernambuco equaivalents.
This bow dates from around 1845 – at this time François was only 24, but already a very successful maker with a thriving business. It shows all the classic Peccatte traits – the square forehead, the wide curving chamfers, and the solw transition from octagonal to round section. According to the certificate the stick is of “bois exotique” – to me it looks more like strongly veined pernambuco, but the bow is priced as the former. The condition is very good – no repairs or damages, just a few minor dings and scratches to the head. The adjuster is not original but of the period.
This bow sounds like it looks – dark, smooth and chocolatey. The tone is very full and rounded, quite noble in quality. If you’re used to a 20th century bow, the suppleness of the stick may come as a surprise, but it’s hard to achieve such richness of sound in a stiffer stick. There’s plenty of power and attack, and the bow works well off the string, but it needs a deliberate technique, while legato is completely effortless…
I’d say it’s excellent bow for big romantic repertoire, also ideal for an orchestral player who wants a big tone without working too hard!
Dimensions: length 74.7cm, weight 62.3 grams
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