The bows of JA Lamy have a real following, perhaps because they represent French bowmaking at its most refined. This example is in fantastic condition – it’s also strong for a Lamy and eminently suitable for modern technique.
Lamy Père is the natural successor to Voirin, his principal teacher and employer for over 9 years. Perhaps not quite Plato to Socrates, Lamy nevertheless managed to distill down the essence of Voirin into something even more elegant and skeletal, all the while with the same jeweller’s precision that marked out Voirin’s extraordinary workmanship.
This bow is a great example from around 1895 – it’s in excellent condition and still retains its original silk lapping. The stick is of round section red-orange pernambuco with a striking lengthwise figure – mounts are silver and ebony.
There’s a tiny amount of wear to the top facet of the handle on the audience side, otherwise the condition is perfect.
As with Voirin, Lamy bows tend to be light or overly supple, but when you find one that’s strong then it’s sure to be a knockout. This is such a bow – very pretty to look at, yet hiding something serious under the bonnet.
The sound is full and creamy throughout the register, but it’s in the higher reaches of the E that this bow really excels – it manages to pull out a strong core sound right into the dusty reaches of the fingerboard, always alongside that gorgeous high frequency shimmer which is the hallmark of the Voirin mode.
This is a bow which can do anything – anything, that is, apart from crudity since everything it touches seems to come out beautifully formed and well judged.
All in all this is a great example of the maker, suitable for a demanding musician or a collector.