We have a number of Franz Albert Nürnberger bows at the moment, each one better than the other. This example from the early 1900s is in top condition and has a brilliant solistic quality.
This is a very fine example from the most respected maker of the Nürnberger family. It has the classic drooping thumb projection to the frog, though the model of the head is lighter and more elegant than many. The stick is of octagonal section mid-brown pernambuco, mounts are silver and ebony – the ebony of the frog is very close-grained, smooth and lustrous.
The condition is generally excellent – there are a couple of scuffs to the player’s side of the stick around the halfway point, otherwise no issues. Very little wear or nibbles to the varnish, no chipping to the frog, no marks to the silver, no reshaping of the head.
Everyone knows deep down that German bows are as good as French bows, but it’s still worth repeating. We think of Nürnbergers as tending to be heavy and stolid, totally ignoring the fact that the majority of Sartorys are like that.
This particular bow is neither heavy nor stolid, and would stand up to comparison with any French bow of the period. The stick is beautifully balanced – it plays off the string with effortless grace, it has a big full legato, and the sound is at once clear, rich and strong. It has a lightning response, and it’s a great technical bow for tricky repertoire.