This is a fine early Pfretzschner in very good condition – a beautiful piece of bow-making and a phenomenal player.

Richard Pfretzschner (1857-1921) is a highly influential figure in German bow-making. It’s well known that he spent a year in the Vuillaume shop, and during that time he fell under the influence of FN Voirin. His early bows followed the Voirin model very closely, but in this bow we start to see the evolution of his own more robust style, with a bit more depth to the head of the bow.

The stick is of top quality pernambuco, dark red in colour, and with all the little pin knots and irregularities that we hope to see in real bow wood. Mounts are silver and ebony.

General condition is very good, but there’s some wear to the thumb projection, and a couple of very fine repaired cracks to the butt end of the stick.

This is a dream of a bow, with all the sophistication of a Voirin but just a bit more beef. It offers an ideal combination of refinement and power – the sound is clean but edgy, with great projection, and the stick is about as versatile as you can get. On or off the string it performs faultlessly, and the staccato is a joy.

We still have this absurd prejudice against German bows, but in a fine 19th century Pfretzschner you can find the perfect synthesis of French elegance and German purposefulness – an outstanding bow in every way.

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