This is a fine example of the work of Johann Wilhelm Knopf in near mint condition – a real collector’s piece and an exciting player too.
The Knopf family are slowly being accorded their rightful place as the equals of their French contemporaries. We have always been keen on these makers, and it’s great to see how much interest there is in them now.
JW Knopf is slightly less well known than Heinrich (famous for his association with Kittel) but his work is of similar quality. This example is the best we have seen – pretty much unused and featuring some strikingly flamed orange-brown pernambuco.
The stick is round section, mounts are silver and ebony with the typically oversized pearl eye.
There are no condition issues – the ivory face is cracked on the audience side, but we believe it’s original and as such we prefer not to replace it.
This is a very strong stick with a crisp full tone – there’s a nice hint of coffee grounds in the lower register, but not enough to impede the bow’s articulacy.
It has a very controllable action, seemingly limitless power, and a bright yet crunchy voice, fresh and eager.
If you haven’t been introduced to the bows of the Knopf family, this example would be a bit of an eye-opener – superb playability, excellent materials and great craftsmanship.