Jean Joseph Martin Violin Bow for JB Vuillaume, Paris circa 1870


Jean Joseph Martin Violin Bow
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!

Mounts: silver/ebony

Dimensions: length 74.5cm, weight 63.3 grams

Certificate: Pierre Guillaume, Maison Bernard, Brussels 2019 Jean Joseph Martin Violin Bow certificate

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Jean Joseph Martin Violin Bow base photo Jean Joseph Martin Violin Bow frog photo
Jean Joseph Martin Violin Bow head photo Jean Joseph Martin Violin Bow tip photo
Jean Joseph Martin Violin Bow detail  


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