This is a very nice Vuillaume bow made by JJ Martin around 1870. Built on a typcial Vuillaume model, it’s a very attractive bow with a huge sound.

The Vuillume shop in the mid 19th century was the place to be for bow-makers. All of the great talents passed through that shop with the exception of Pajeot. JJ Martin joined as a young man, and then made bows for Vuillaume as an outworker. This is one of these later bows, exhibiting all the typical details – the trench mount for the frog, the narrow frog culminating in a slightly rounded ferrule, the rounded adjuster.

The stick is of wonderful dense deep red-brown pernambuco, mounts are silver and ebony. The condition is very good – I would describe it as excellent were it not for a slight dunt in the stick and a small split in the ebony of the adjuster.

Vuillaume bows tend to be quite bold, and at just over 63 grams this is a relatively heavy bow. But it just doesn’t feel it … the balance is so good, and the spring is so ready for action. Tonally the bow is a knockout – very loud and powerful, full of colour, but still clean and articulate. It’s a thin stick of tremendous density, very responsive and crisp – not the right bow for a shy player, but if you’re willing to commit and are happy to be hear, it will give you it all. Beautiful off the string action, a big dark core, and an endless legato – a great bow!

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